Lilly To Reorganize, Cut 5,500 Jobs

Marley Seaman AP Health Writer - September 14, 2009 NEW YORK (AP) - Drugmaker Eli Lilly & Co. said Monday it will eliminate 5,500 jobs, or 13.

Marley Seaman AP Health Writer — September 14, 2009

NEW YORK (AP) — Drugmaker Eli Lilly & Co. said Monday it will eliminate 5,500 jobs, or 13.6 percent of its staff, and reorganize into five business units in an effort to slash costs and speed up development of potential new drugs.

The Indianapolis company said it will reduce its work force to 35,000 by the end of 2011. It has about 40,500 now. The new total excludes hirings in high-growth emerging markets and Japan.

Lilly hopes to cut annual costs by $1 billion per year over the same time, and will organize itself into the following units: cancer, diabetes, established markets, emerging markets, and Elanco, its animal health business.

Key Lilly products like the anti-psychotic drug Zyprexa will lose patent protection starting in 2011. CEO John Lechleiter believes the company's best path to profit growth involves focusing on its early and mid stage drug candidates.

Zyprexa is the company's best-selling drug. Its other top sellers are the antidepressant Cymbalta, Humalog insulin and cancer drug Gemzar, all of which will lose patent protection in 2013.

The company said it hopes to make some of the reductions through retirements and attrition, but couldn't speculate on how many of the cuts will be made that way. It suggested most of the job cuts will be made in the U.S., including the state of Indiana, where Lilly employs about 13,600 people.

The reorganization builds on Lilly's $6 billion purchase of cancer drug maker ImClone Systems, as former ImClone CEO John Johnson will lead the new oncology business. Enrique Coterno, currently the head of U.S. operations, will lead the diabetes business. Bryce Carmine, who is in charge of global marketing and sales, will lead the established markets unit, and intercontinental region head Jacques Tapiero will be in charge of emerging markets.

Lilly said the appointments will go into effect Nov. 1. Elanco head Jeffrey Simmons will keep his post. The company also said Tim Garnett and Tom Verhoeven will lead a Development Center of Excellence within its research laboratories, which will be focused on streamlining drug development.

The company also backed its annual guidance, calling for a profit of $4.14 to $4.24 per share, or $4.20 to $4.30 per share excluding one-time costs. Analysts on average expect $4.28 per share, according to Thomson Reuters.

In morning trading, shares of Eli Lilly rose 25 cents to $33.07.