Source: Sanofi to Ax 60 Jobs at Great Valley, Pa., Site

Last Updated Jul 4, 2009 3:04 PM EDT

For American employees of Sanofi-Aventis, the most interesting part of CEO Chris Viehbacher's recent restructuring statement was a line buried near the end, which said:
The research reorganization project will also concern preclinical activities in some sites of Spain, the United Kingdom, the United States and Japan where divestment or reconversion solutions will be sought for certain activities.
A source tells BNET that those "divestment or reconversion solutions" are actually the layoff of 60 - 135 people at Sanofi's Great Valley, Pa., site. The source said:
The very day that Chris Viehbacher declared that there would be no forced layoffs (in a sanofi-aventis official press release), departments of Analytical Sciences and Pharmaceutical Sciences at the Great Valley, PA research facility were called together and told that they would be out of jobs by the end of the year (about 60+ positions). There is no plan to relocate staff from these departments. Other departments were affected less severely, but there are other cuts as well. I know all of this because I am one affected. I am not so upset by the layoffs themselves, in fact was anticipating something like this, as by the fact that this was not made known in any company statements ...

I know for certain that about 60 people in these two departments will be terminated by the end of the year. Other departments are still up in the air about the number of job cuts. One unverified number is 135 total. Most feel that this is the beginning of the end for the Great Valley site.

Great Valley employs about 700 people. Notes were also posted on comments boards at Seeking Alpha, Topix and -- of course -- Cafe Pharma bemoaning the layoffs.

BNET emailed Sanofi for comment but did not immediately get a reply (it's July 4, so no surprise there). We'll update if we hear more.

In other Sanofi news: Multaq was approved, saving the jobs of the small army of reps who had already been hired to launch it.