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Actelion to cut up to 135 jobs

The Swiss biotech firm's cost-saving initiative could affect 115 positions at its headquarters in Allschwil.

Changes are afoot at the Swiss biotech firm Actelion, as it negotiates the continued strength of the Swiss franc, increased competition in the US and Europe's difficult pricing and reimbursement environment. Actelion has announced that it will cut up to 135 positions in research and development and administration, as part of a cost-saving initiative. This could affect some 115 positions at its headquarters in Allschwil.

Jean-Paul Clozel, managing director and CEO of Actelion, said: 

In order to take full advantage of the growth opportunities ahead of us, we must take decisive action now. We will maintain the earning power of our business thereby balancing long-term growth opportunities with short-term profitability enhancement.

The refocusing of Actelion's R&D efforts is expected to result in lower and more targeted R&D spending. Following a portfolio review, projects that are not in alignment with this strategy will be either stopped or prepared for partnership or out-licensing.

Cost savings will start to take effect in the latter part of 2012 and accelerate in 2013. The refocusing of the pipeline will require a realignment of the organisation.

The company said it is committed to minimising the number of potential redundancies through natural attrition, early retirements and other such measures.