Novartis’ Restructuring Claims 285 Jobs in New Jersey

Harold Cunningham/Getty Images

Harold Cunningham/Getty Images

Novartis will eliminate 285 jobs across units in New Jersey. The terminations will take effect on January 28, 2023.

Courtesy of Harold Cunningham/Getty Images

In line with its far-reaching restructuring initiative, Novartis will eliminate 285 jobs across units in New Jersey, the Swiss pharmaceutical revealed in a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act notice Monday.

The job cuts will span three business units: Novartis Pharmaceuticals, Novartis Services Inc. and Novartis Corporation. The company’s pharmaceuticals business will be hardest hit, losing 221 employees. The terminations will take effect on January 28, 2023.

Novartis first announced its global restructuring initiative in April. In order to simplify its structure and provide more leeway for future strategic moves, the pharma powerhouse combined two of its divisions - the pharmaceutical and oncology divisions—into one Innovative Medicines business.

Novartis also gave this unit separate U.S. and international commercial organizations, which it said would allow for better focus and competitiveness.

Novartis expects the savings from this realignment to hit $1 billion by 2024.

In April, reports circulated that “thousands of jobs” were at risk, though a company spokesperson declined to provide any specific figure.

The spokesperson told BioSpace the new structure would “drive value creation through operational efficiencies,” but would inevitably lead to roles being impacted.

Several top executives stepped down alongside the restructuring, including Susanne Schaffert, Ph.D., president of Novartis Oncology, Robert Weltevreden, president of customer and technology solutions and John Tsai, M.D., chief medical officer and president of global drug development.

In June, Novartis revealed that up to 7% of the company’s total workforce was at risk of being cut, amounting to some 8,000 roles across its units worldwide.

Targeting the Top 5

Novartis’ organizational overhaul is part of its ambition to become a top-five player in the U.S. by 2027, as outlined by company executives in September.

Alongside the structural changes, the company plans to further advance eight in-market drugs, including Cosentyx (secukinumab), Entresto (sacubitril/valsartan), Zolgensma (onasemnogene abeparvovec-xioi) and Kisqali (ribociclib), all of which have the potential to earn billions of dollars in peak sales.

The new strategy will also see Novartis double down on five core therapeutic areas: cardiovascular diseases, immunology, neuroscience, solid tumors and hematology.

To further build its case in the U.S., Novartis will consider the demands of the domestic market first when developing drugs, increase the proportion of U.S. patients in clinical trials and build its talent pool in the country.

In line with this U.S.-first strategy, Novartis spun off its Switzerland-based generics unit Sandoz into a standalone business in August.

Tristan Manalac is an independent science writer based in Metro Manila, Philippines. Reach out to him on LinkedIn or email him at tristan@tristanmanalac.com or tristan.manalac@biospace.com.
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