- Danish drugmaker Lundbeck disclosed on Tuesday plans to eliminate more than 100 jobs as part of a plan to restructure its research and development operations.
- Of the roughly 130 to 160 jobs set to be cut, about 100 will come from Lundbeck's Denmark offices. A company spokesperson confirmed that the positions are in R&D and R&D-related functions.
- The changes are "subject to consultations," according to the spokesperson, meaning Lundbeck doesn't know how they will shake out just yet. However, the company is looking to "complete the process as soon as possible."
Tuesday's disclosure suggests that Lundbeck is still in the remodeling phase.
The company, which works in the notoriously challenging field of neuroscience, is perhaps best known for products like the antipsychotic Abilify and the antidepressant Lexapro. Yet generic competition has weighed on Lundbeck, prompting large-scale job cuts and pressure to grow the company's cache of marketed drugs.
This pressure recently turned into acquisitions. Under the direction of Deborah Dunshire, former CEO of Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Lundbeck in 2019 spent $250 million to acquire Abide Therapeutics, which sported a drug discovery platform as well as a lead candidate that was in clinical testing for several neurological conditions.
Lundbeck quickly followed up with another purchase, dropping $2 billion on Alder BioPharmaceuticals and its migraine drug eptinezumab. In February, the Food and Drug Administration approved eptinezumab, now sold as Vyepti, for migraine prevention in adults.
Alder, based in Washington state, employed around 270 people when Lundbeck acquired it, according to the company spokesperson. The spokesperson couldn't confirm whether any positions from the Alder acquisition would be eliminated, but noted that most of the planned job cuts are happening at Lundbeck's Denmark locations.
In Lundbeck's 2019 financial report, the company recorded revenue of 17 billion Danish krones, or roughly $2.6 billion. The company's newer drugs, such as Abilify Maintena, Northera and Rexulti, all had double-digit growth compared to 2018.
That growth didn't offset declines to Lundbeck's more established brands, however. Its former top-seller Onfi, a seizure medication, went from almost 3.2 billion Danish krones worth of revenue in 2018 to just over 1 billion in 2019. Lundbeck's total revenue in 2019 was 6% lower than the year prior.
More recently, Lundbeck suffered from two mid-stage clinical trial setbacks.
Lundbeck shares, which trade on the Copenhagen stock exchange, were down about 1.5% Tuesday.