AstraZeneca’s new chief executive announced another 2,300 job cuts in sales and administration on Thursday as he set out his stall for turning round the struggling drugmaker and returning it to growth.
The latest cutbacks mean the group will shed around a tenth of its workforce, or 5,050 jobs, by 2016 as sales shrink due to patent expiries on several top-selling medicines.
Pascal Soriot said he had no quick fix for the company and ruled out the idea of diversifying away from prescription drugs, as several rivals have done.
Instead, he plans to focus research efforts in three main disease areas and strike more external deals — such as a $240 million tie-up with Moderna Therapeutics — in an effort to replenish a sparse new drug pipeline.
It promises to be a long haul. Still, AstraZeneca believes it can double the number of drugs in late-stage development by 2016 and by 2018 it expects revenue to “significantly exceed” the current market consensus of $21.5 billion.