Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Biogen announced today it would close its San Diego facility and eliminate more than 300 local jobs.
SAN DIEGO Biogen announced today it would close its San Diego facility and eliminate more than 300 local jobs.
About 75 people from the San Diego facility have been offered jobs at other Biogen facilities out of state, but the remaining 225 employees will be laid off by January 10th.
San Diego’s facility is one of three Biogen offices to close. The two others, in Massachusetts, bring the total number of company layoffs to about 650. The company has about 4,275 employees remaining worldwide and two U.S. facilities will remain open.
In a written statement, Biogen CEO George Scangos called the closures global restructuring. The changes he said will allow the company to end its cardiovascular research and either end or sell it’s oncology R & D programs.
“Biogen Idec will be better off as a result of these actions. First we will have increased focus. We have been operating in too many therapeutic areas and haven’t maximized our opportunities,” said Scangos.
The new focus he says will be neurology, specifically four new drugs Biogen is working on for the treatment of Multiple Sclerosis.
In 1985, Biogen became one of San Diego’s original biotech companies, and one of its most profitable with its FDA approved arthritis drug Rituxan in 1997.
Biogen is the second major biotech company to recently leave San Diego. Two weeks ago, Phenomix abruptly closed, leaving 45 local workers unemployed.