In recent weeks, we’ve seen massive layoffs at companies like Meta, Amazon, Google, and CNN.
Is it time for layoffs to hit Big Pharma?
Fierce Pharma reportedly obtained Johnson & Johnson internal documents and a video of a town hall meeting describing a “comprehensive review” of its portfolio.
It appears the Janssen pharmaceutical unit will face “sweeping layoffs” around the world in the “the infectious diseases and vaccine groups.”
Internal documents show major overhaul at J&J’s R&D unit, global layoffs. https://t.co/rFWdNUbqbb
— FiercePharma (@FiercePharma) February 3, 2023
“Leaders explained to a nervous group of employees in the Janssen pharmaceutical unit an overhaul of operations for the infectious diseases and vaccine groups, with sweeping layoffs expected to claim staffers’ jobs in countries around the world.”https://t.co/2XLghDO1gE pic.twitter.com/by4yhrjYNo
— Chief Nerd (@TheChiefNerd) February 5, 2023
J&J announces termination of antibacterial drug development programs (with all antibacterial drug development programs marked as “winding down,” and none as “ongoing”).
Another pharma company ends antibacterial drug development.https://t.co/r6OTKgTHyb
— Richard H. Ebright (@R_H_Ebright) February 6, 2023
Tectonic plate shifts are happening at Johnson and Johnson’s pharma wing, with units merged, numerous programs deprioritized and layoffs across the globe. Internal documents and town hall footage reviewed by @FiercePharma describe a total overhaul. https://t.co/Pvo4qt08CN
— Max Bayer (@maxonwifi) February 3, 2023
Fierce Pharma reported:
Fierce Pharma has obtained internal documents and video of a town hall meeting conducted this week describing what J&J called a “comprehensive review” of its portfolio. Moving forward, J&J plans to operate its vaccines and infectious diseases outfits as one group, the executives explained.
James Merson, Ph.D., currently the head of the infectious disease unit, is set to leave the company “to pursue his next opportunity” according to a memo sent to staff. Penny Heaton, M.D., head of the existing vaccines division, will oversee the merged unit.
One memo on the pipeline revisions says the company will continue to invest in all therapeutic areas while “deprioritizing some programs.” But an internal corporate slide presentation that was delivered to the merged therapeutic team and reviewed by Fierce Pharma shows that the company’s infectious disease pipeline is undergoing a major overhaul.
For example, the company is ending work on its hepatitis B and D therapies and continuing only “legacy studies,” according to an internal presentation slide reviewed by Fierce Pharma. J&J is also discontinuing all antibacterial therapeutic efforts, as well as work on acute respiratory distress syndrome.
The company is also winding down work of its COVID-19 and HIV vaccines, the latter of which just failed a phase 3 trial. The COVID shot was authorized during the pandemic but failed to gain a foothold in the market due to concerns about blood clots.
Moving forward, J&J plans to focus on pre-exposure prophylaxis to flu, COVID-19, RSV and HRV, the slides show.
The FDA and CDC halted the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 shot in 2021 due to “severe blood clots.”
The European Union also suspended the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 shot.
Read the full report at Fierce Pharma.