Yesterday, The Boston Globe reported that Novartis (NYSE: NVS ) would be cutting 500 jobs across its international research centers as it axes a respiratory disease research site, an oncology program, and a dermatology program. The layoffs are part of a broader restructuring program aimed at curbing some of the company's $2.4 billion in R&D expenses registered in the third quarter. These cuts come after a disappointing quarter for Novartis, which saw year-over-year sales growth of 6% at constant currency aided by multiple sclerosis drug Gilenya, but operating income falling by 2% on a 10% year-over-year increase in R&D expenses.
Same with Merck. Cuts in R&D to focus on immunotherapy.
In its R&D efforts, Merck reports it will focus on candidates capable of providing “unambiguous, promotable advantages to patients and payers. “ Programs include the company’s anti-PD-1 immunotherapy program in oncology, BACE for Alzheimer’s disease (MK-8931), its next generation HCV program and V503, the company’s 9-valent HPV vaccine.