Novo Nordisk has announced plans to lay off a total of 1,300 employees by the end of this year as part of its research and development (R&D) organisation restructuring.
The Danish pharmaceutical company noted that the majority of the workforce reductions have been implemented as of 1 November 2018.
In September, the company announced plans to cut approximately 400 R&D staff at its sites in China and Denmark. This was followed by reports to lay off 250 employees in the US.
Novo Nordisk president and CEO Lars Fruergaard Jørgensen told CNBC: “We do it to really strengthen our strategic execution, so by being sharp on how we allocate resources, we believe we can grow our strategic brands, [make] our innovative products even stronger in the future, and we can set up our R&D function even stronger going forward.”
According to Novo Nordisk, the R&D restructuring is intended to drive its expansion and diversify drug pipeline in order to facilitate higher investment in biological and technological research.
The company already initiated various other restructuring activities across functions and geographies for supporting the commercialisation of its products.
Novo Nordisk reported a drop in profit to DKK9.04bn ($1.37bn) during the third quarter of this year. In the first nine months, its sales decreased by 2% to DKK82.1bn ($12.52bn).
The company posted a 6% rise in Victoza sales to DKK17.8bn ($2.71bn), while Saxenda experienced the highest growth of 42% to reach DKK2.6bn ($396.52m) in sales.
Its Ozempic drug, which launched in February this year, is said to have contributed 19% to the overall GLP-1 market share of the company.
Jørgensen noted: “We are off to a very good start with Ozempic which is strengthening our leadership position in the expanding GLP-1 market.
“Our other key innovative products Victoza, Saxenda, Tresiba and Xultophy continue the solid contribution to sales growth in the first nine months of 2018.”