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UPDATED: Sanofi's Cancer Division Next on the Chopping Block; 750 Jobs Gone This Week

The cancer shoe has yet to drop at Sanofi-Aventis (SNY), a source tells BNET, as the company lays off about 1,200 750* sales reps and other staff. Sales of Sanofi's Eloxatin cancer drug were decimated by generic competition this year, down 44 percent to €193 million. Sanofi won a court ruling in the U.S. but the victory was pyrrhic -- the generic companies said they would continue selling until a final verdict, according to FiercePharma.

Sanofi confirmed the company-wide cuts in a statement to BNET:

We currently are in the process of contacting about 750 sales professionals to let them know their jobs have been eliminated. In our General and Specialized Therapeutics Business Units, the notification process is complete. In the Oncology Business Unit, the process will continue until mid-month.
The 750 figure includes oncology, Sanofi said. Sanofi oncology staff were notified in June that their fates lay in the balance, but the company has delayed a decision since then. The company is still waiting for a final ruling on Eloxatin in the U.S. The source tells BNET:
Sanofi has yet to lay off it's oncology business unit, but is getting ready to do so.
Sanofi had about 5,600 sales reps prior to the cuts. Clearly, a drug division with a decline of 44 percent in sales within a single year would be a prime target for layoffs.

* Correction: This story previously said that 1,200 reps were being laid off. Sanofi has now confirmed 750 were laid off, not counting cuts yet to come in the oncology sector.

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