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400 R&D jobs cut as Novo Nordisk says goodbye to inflammatory work

By Fiona Barry +

03-Sep-2014
Last updated on 04-Sep-2014 at 11:05 GMT

Novo Nordisk HQ
Novo Nordisk HQ

Novo Nordisk has scrapped all its inflammatory disease therapy development programmes, cutting 400 jobs. 

The company announced it will stop R&D for inflammatory disorders within six months to concentrate on its diabetes and obesity pipelines.

A spokesman for Novo Nordisk told in-Pharmatechnologist.com the company expects to be able to offer other jobs to around half of the 400 employees affected.

The people who will be most difficult to redeploy are those who are very specialized within inflammatory disorders,” said Mike Rulis.

There are no plans to outsource some of our R&D work and no plans to sell assets in the form of API or manufacturing equipment, but we are evaluating options for out-licensing some of the projects we have discontinued.” 

Closing down its anti-inflammatory activities will cost Novo Nordisk around 700m Danish kroner (€93m), of which 400m kroner relates to impairment of intangible assets, and 300m kroner comes from other exit costs such as project closures and severance payments.

The news follows an announcement by the Danish pharma giant earlier this year of plans to discontinue its most advanced anti-inflammatory candidate, for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.

The discontinuation of anti-IL-20 delays our earliest possible entrance into the market for anti-inflammatory therapeutics to the late 2020s,” said Mads Krogsgaard Thomsen, executive VP and Chief Science Officer.

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