Genentech Plans to Eliminate 52 Jobs in January

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When 2022 rolls around in a little more than a week, some Genentech employees will begin the new year in search of a new job.

First reported by The San Francisco Business Times, Roche subsidiary Genentech is expected to cut 52 jobs as part of what Roche is calling "an efficiency push." The Bay Area-based company filed Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act with the California Employment Development Department, informing the state agency of the layoffs. 

The job cuts will include "10 management associates, the global head of the lifecycle team office, a principal global medical science director and two program managers."

The WARN notice comes about six months after Genentech's parent company Roche indicated plans to cull 300 to 500 positions as it streamlines programs and its business. The positions the Swiss pharma giant indicated would be impacted included those in project management, administrative support and other business support roles. 

Last month, Genentech hinted at some changes in the works. In November, the company issued a statement that indicated it intended to shift resources among its product development teams. Genentech said the resources would be reprioritized to projects that are "directly involved in developing medical advances to support the sustainable growth of our portfolio." 

"The success and long-term growth of our business depends on our ability to respond to change, appropriately allocate resources and manage our work efficiently," the company said in the statement. "We continually evaluate our operations to ensure we remain well-positioned to meet the needs of patients today and deliver on our growing pipeline of new medicines in the future."

Genentech is not the only Bay Area-based company that is planning some job cuts in the coming months. The Times noted that Theravance filed a WARN notice projecting the loss of 38 jobs in February. Those losses are on top of the 270 jobs cuts the company announced in September. Theravance was making the cuts after its Phase III cardiac drug, ampreloxetine, failed to hit its primary endpoint for the treatment of symptomatic neurogenic orthostatic hypotension. The company is shifting its focus to its respiratory disease portfolio.

In the coming weeks, other job cuts that will impact the Bay Area include Boston Scientific's plan to close a manufacturing facility in San Jose. The closure will eliminate 170 jobs. The decision to shut down the facility is part of an ongoing restructuring plan. Work from the Bay Area plant will be shifted to other sites operated by Boston Scientific, the Times reported.

Rigel Pharmaceuticals has also been in the process of cutting headcount. The company announced last month plans to cull 16% of its workforce. Also this past fall, Sanofi closed its Principa Biopharma labs in San Francisco. The cuts were in response to the Phase III failure of rilzabrutinib for pemphigus.


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