AstraZeneca details cost-cutting plans

ASTRAZENECA is to stop researching some disease areas that form the backbone of its current business – including schizophrenia and acid reflux – in a drive to focus R&D efforts and cut costs.

The Anglo-Swedish drugmaker, which faces one of the sector’s worst “cliffs” of expiring drug patents, told its staff yesterday it would cease discovery in 10 of its current disease areas, or around one quarter of the total.

Its research and development site at Charnwood in Leicestershire, which employs 1,200 people, and a smaller facility in Cambridge, will close.

A wide-ranging overhaul had been expected since the group said in January it was cutting a further 8,000 staff, or some 12 per cent of the workforce.