Bayer will close two major U.S. research labs and eliminate about 600 positions, mostly in pharmaceutical R&D, as it advances its integration of the drugmaker Schering AG.
Bayer says it has worked out a structure for the new Bayer Schering Pharma R&D organization. Under this structure, research conducted at numerous sites worldwide will be consolidated into three major R&D centers, in Berlin and Wuppertal, Germany, and Berkeley, Calif.
The Berlin site will focus on diagnostic imaging, oncology, and gynecology/andrology. Wuppertal will be the base for cardiology research. Berkeley will continue its focus on protein-based drugs and become an anchor for work in immunology, inflammation, and hematology.
Bayer's U.S. research site in West Haven, Conn., will close, as will the Richmond, Calif., labs of Schering's Berlex subsidiary. The firm expects to complete the consolidation by mid-2007.
The restructuring around large R&D sites focused on specific therapeutic areas is reminiscent of the measures Pfizer took in 2003 in the wake of its acquisition of Pharmacia. That program affected more than 2,000 people in R&D.
Bayer says it will also restructure in Germany, where both Bayer and Schering are based, and in other countries. "It is not yet possible to issue concrete statements on headcounts and schedules," it says of these measures.