2023-05-10| Special

Novavax, Takeda, and BMS To Cut Employees This Year

by Reed Slater
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With several companies forced to make layoffs last year, 2023 shows few signs of slowing down, with major companies like Novavax, Takeda, and Bristol Myers Squibb announcing plans to cut employees in various areas throughout the U.S. 

Restructuring Novavax as COVID-19 Slows Down

After placing all of its efforts on developing a COVID-19 vaccine over the last few years, Novavax is forced to realign some of its core focuses as its original vaccine struggles to keep pace with the powerhouse vaccines that Moderna and Pfizer have released. The company is placing particular emphasis on an updated and competitive version of Nuvaxovid, the company’s protein-based vaccine. 

Last year, Novavax recorded $704 million in revenue in the first quarter due to an increased demand for COVID-19 vaccines. This year, however, the company recorded $81 million in revenue over the course of the same period. 

Although Novavax saw these dropoffs coming, it is still facing serious adversity in the coming year. Novavax said it plans to cut up to 25% of its staff, primarily full-time research and development employees, to make room for future development plans. 

President and CEO at Novavax, John C. Jacobs, said, “Reducing our workforce has been a difficult decision, but we believe it was necessary to better align our infrastructure and scale to the endemic COVID opportunity.”

The huge reduction could result in up to 500 employees losing their jobs. Still, the company has high hopes for the future with a promising combination COVID-19/influenza vaccine currently in Phase 2 clinical trials.

Related Article: 35% Of Better Therapeutics’ Staff to be Cut to Extend the Company’s Runway

Takeda and BMS’s Plans Going Forward

The news of Takeda and BMS’s plans to make layoffs came from WARN notices published by New Jersey and Massachusetts government websites. So far, neither company has issued a press release outlining the particular reasons for the layoffs. 

In New Jersey, BMS plans to lay off up to 48 employees from its Princeton location. According to the WARN notice, the layoff could go into effect as soon as the end of this month. Also in New Jersey, Thermo Fisher Scientific announced a Princeton layoff in March that could affect 113 employees. Roche molecular systems also announced a layoff in April that could result in 165 employees losing their jobs. 

Takeda also issued a WARN notice; however, the company issued it in Massachusetts, where a layoff could affect up to 138 employees across four Cambridge locations. Takeda Shire Human Genetics Therapies, Inc., could also lose 48 employees in various locations across Massachusetts. 

As the economic landscaping surrounding the biotech industry changes rapidly, several companies have to adapt to overcome an onslaught of new challenges. With these challenges often come changes, which, unfortunately, this time, will result in hundreds of biotech employees losing their jobs. 

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