Ariad Pharmaceuticals–known as ARIA–announced late Tuesday that they will be eliminating 90 headquarters positions in Europe and the U.S. This is nearly 25% of their workforce! Their reasoning? They say there is a need to invest more into their drug products. They did mention that no “customer-facing” positions within the medical affairs organizations would be included among the job cuts. This cut will drop their employee count down to approximately 380 people according to a regulatory filing.
ARIA claims that these job cuts are part of a strategic plan to increase shareholder value in the second quarter of 2016. Other parts of their plan include a new focus on the company’s geographical presence, reevaluating their commercial maximization initiatives, and leveraging their business development opportunities. This workforce reduction is expected to be completed by the end of the second quarter of 2016 at the latest.
The company’s new president and CEO–Paris Panayiotopoulos–claims the layoffs will enable the company to invest in the growth of their two drugs Iclusig and Brigatinib. He also claims this change will allow the orphan oncology medicines to reach cancer patients.
Although this is a huge cut, this isn’t the first time Ariad has made big workforce reductions. The company also laid off 160 people in 2013 as a result of the FDA warning people about the dangerous side effects of the blood cancer drug called Iclusig, which they had just approved for use in 2012. The company rose out of that setback by making a $77.5 million dollar deal with the Japanese firm Otsuka Pharmaceutical. It will be interesting to see what happens after this new shift. Read more about it here.
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