Layoffs in California: Amgen to Slash 200 R&D Jobs, Genentech to Cut 130

Published: Nov 06, 2017 By


Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for companies to announce layoffs in the final months of the year. Genentech, a Roche company, indicated it is laying off 130 people at its facility in Vacaville, Calif. by the end of the year. And reportedly Amgen is eliminating about 200 research-and-development jobs, mostly in California, by the end of the year as well.

Genentech told The Reporter that it pursues “groundbreaking science to develop breakthrough medicines for people with serious diseases. The success of our business depends on our ability to respond to change, appropriately allocate resources, and manage our operations efficiently.”

The company indicated that after a “detailed operational analysis,” it decided to make organizational changes. “We are making this change in response to current and anticipated production requirements, the volumes required for some of our new medicine formulations, and shift schedule adjustments.”

The company indicated that the manufacturing facility in Vacaville is its largest one and “a vital part of the global Roche network.”

Genentech went on to say, “The new streamlined structure is designed to best meet the needs of our business today and ensure that we are well-positioned to continue bringing innovative medicines to patients in the future. We greatly appreciate the significant contributions of those impacted by these changes and will support them through this transition with financial benefits, extended healthcare coverage, and career coaching.”

The Amgen positions are primarily being cut at sites in Thousand Oaks, Calif. and South San Francisco. This is only eight months after the company reassigned approximately 100 R&D jobs from Thousand Oaks to South San Francisco and Cambridge, Mass.

In March 2017, Amgen announced it planned to reassign, relocate or lay off about 500 staffers over the next 18 months. Part of the reshuffling is related to its plans to open a new plan in Tampa, Fla. that will employ about 450 people. The company indicated in March that it expected about 50 staffers from Thousand Oaks to be relocated to Florida around October.

Amgen employs about 5,500 people at its Thousand Oaks location. The company said the Tampa site was a new facility that would, according to the VC Star, “help further connect Amgen to its global offices.”

The Medicines Company recently announced it was restructuring and laying off under 60 people. At its third-quarter financial results, it indicated it was planning dramatic downsizing. It had earlier layoffs of about 52 people around August 1.

On Oct. 23, Merck announced it was planning on cutting 1,800 jobs, although it was also planning to add 960 new sales jobs focused on chronic care.

And in September, Alexion  announced it was moving its headquarters from New Haven, Conn. and moving to a new site in Boston, and along the way cut about 20 percent of its workforce, or about 600 people.

Most of these are dwarfed by Teva Pharmaceuticals' announcement in August that it was planning to lay off 7,000 people across its global operations and close 15 manufacturing plants over a two-year period. It expected to shutter or sell six plants in 2017, and nine in 2018.

Back to news