Novartis Streamlines Global Development Team to Drive Strategic Focus


Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis is strategically realigning its global development team, aiming for a reduction of up to 680 positions, representing approximately 1-2% of the unit’s workforce. This move comes as the company sharpens its focus on key therapeutic areas and integrates recent acquisitions.

The majority of the workforce adjustments are anticipated to occur in Switzerland, with up to 440 roles potentially impacted. An additional 240 roles may be affected in the United States. Novartis is currently in a consultation phase regarding these changes.

This strategic workforce realignment is distinct from the previously announced restructuring initiative, which aimed to reduce the company’s headcount by approximately 8,000 positions over several phases. The current adjustments specifically target the development organization and are intended to optimize resource allocation and build future capabilities.

“As we invest across the company to maximize the value of our robust portfolio and advanced technology platforms, a set of changes to build future capabilities and access global talent pools will be implemented over the next 2 to 3 years, with parallel build-up and reduction of roles in certain locations.”

– Novartis Spokesperson

This move reflects Novartis’ ongoing transformation following the spin-off of its generics and biosimilars division, Sandoz, in October 2023. The company has articulated a clear focus on four core therapeutic areas: cardio-renal-metabolic, immunology, neuroscience, and oncology. As part of this strategic shift, Novartis has streamlined its oncology pipeline, reducing the number of programs by nearly half since late 2021.

These developments coincide with Novartis’ efforts to integrate recent acquisitions, expand the label of its radiopharmaceutical Pluvicto, and bolster its CDMO (Contract Development and Manufacturing Organization) unit. This strategic realignment of the development team underscores the company’s commitment to maximizing its portfolio value and driving future growth in its core therapeutic areas.

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