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Novo Nordisk cuts 650 roles around the world in R&D restructure

Published on 01/10/18 at 10:26am

Novo Nordisk has announced a wave of jobs cuts as part of a global restructure of its $1 billion R&D business to drive diversification of its pipeline in chronic diseases, affecting hundreds of positions across its operations around the world.

The company first revealed that it would be axing 400 of its R&D staff in China and Denmark to allow for the establishment of four “transformational research units” based in Denmark, the US and the UK to complement its central function and focus on areas including translational cardiometabolic and stem cell research.

The streamlining will also include greater investment into digital and automation, including artificial intelligence and machine learning, in order to “drive a faster and more efficient path towards lead molecule selection and development”.

“Delivering on our ambition of achieving even higher levels of innovation across a broader and more diverse range of chronic diseases requires that we have the optimal future skill base and allocate resources to our priority areas,” commented Mads Krogsgaard Thomsen, Chief Science Officer at Novo Nordisk. “Unfortunately, this implies that a number of valued colleagues will lose their jobs in order to ensure that we have sufficient new research capabilities needed to support our long-term growth ambitions.”

Novo followed up this news with the announcement of a further 250 job cuts, all drawn from the US. 100 of these will be from back-office positions, and the other 150 will be diabetes treatment support roles. A number of positions will also be created, though the company did not specify how many or in what discipline. The company makes around half of its sales in the region, but said earlier this year that new price-cutting regulation would impact its sales throughout 2019.

Matt Fellows

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