Shire to Consolidate 3,000+ Jobs Over 4 Years to 2 Massachusetts Sites

Shire to Consolidate 3,000+ Jobs Over 4 Years to 2 Massachusetts Sites June 30, 2017
By Mark Terry, Breaking News Staff

Dublin, Ireland-based Shire plc plans to consolidate more than 3,000 staffers spread out at over half-a-dozen locations across Massachusetts to two campuses in Cambridge and Lexington.

Shire will perform the consolidation over the next four years. There are currently 2,257 workers in Lexington, 296 in Kendall Square, 244 in Alewife, 86 in Milford, 69 in Burlington, 25 in North Reading, and 64 remote workers. According to The Boston Globe, hundreds of scientists at the Lexington location will be transferred to Kendall Square by mid-2019. It also plans to transfer another 100 researchers from Austria.

By 2021, Shire also plans to move its U.S. headquarters from the Lexington location to Cambridge. Cambridge’s Kendall Square site will be a “Center of Excellence” for Shire’s research and U.S. business operations. Another site in Lexington will focus on manufacturing and sales. The Alewife site, which is a manufacturing facility, will shift to a larger plant in Lexington.

“Shire currently has a bit of a fragmented structure in Massachusetts,” Flemming Ornskov, Shire’s chief executive officer, told The Boston Globe. “One of the issues we have now is that everyone is spread out in many locations. We want to consolidate.”

The Kendall Square site will have two facilities. The Genzyme Center will be at 500 Kendall Street, currently the location of Sanofi Genzyme , and an adjacent building that Shire is leasing via its acquisition of Baxalta last year.

At the company’s first-quarter report on May 2, Ornskov said, “Our priorities for the rest of 2017 remain unchanged: launching new products while driving commercial excellence, generating operational efficiencies, and advancing our pipeline of novel therapies. Additionally, we continue to prioritize paying down debt, and we are on track to achieve our full-year financial guidance.”

Shire reported quarterly product sales of $3.4 billion, with a 14 percent growth in genetic diseases. The Baxalta business grew at 8 percent on a pro forma basis and its most recent launch, Xiidra, for dry eye disease, created a 22 percent market share. Net income for the quarter was $375 million.

In terms of debt, its non GAAP net debt as of March 31, 2017 showed a decrease of $263 million since December 31, 2016, to $22.176 billion.

On June 22, the company announced that the European Medicines Agency (EMA) validated its Marketing Authorization Application (MAA) for Veyvondi to prevent and treat bleeding episodes and peri-operative bleeding in adults with von Willebrand Disease (VWD).

VWD is the most common inherited bleeding disorder globally, and affects about 1 percent of the world’s population. It is caused by a deficiency or dysfunction of VWF, which causes blood clotting problems.

Vonvendi was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the U.S. in December 2015 and is prescribed for on-demand treatment and control of bleeding episodes in adults with VWD. The company is also looking for approval for prophylaxis and pediatric indications for the drug, with clinical trials expected to wrap up in 2019 and 2020, respectively.

“With its clinical profile and physiology, Veyvondi is a first-of-its-kind treatment for VWD,” said Alice Dietrich, Head of Global Medical Affairs for Shire, in a statement. “We’re deeply committed to advancing standards of care and outcomes for VWD patients worldwide, and today’s submission marks an important milestone in our efforts to address needs of patients living with VWD and make Veyvondi available to more patients who could benefit from its use.”

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