Looking for a Job? These Pharma Companies Are “Hiring”!!!!

Posted in BioBusiness

Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News (GEN) perused the corporate websites of 10 major pharma companies to determine the number of available jobs at those companies for the week of June 17-21, 2013.  While this was a laudable exercise, it is important to note that jobs listed on corporate websites usually do not reflect the actual job openings at the companies that post them. That said, although the results offered byGENsurvey may seem encouraging to jobseekers, I would not put much faith in the conclusions that they draw. For example, the author of the piece wrote:

The results show both the U.S.’ continuing dominance of the industry, since nine of 10 companies hired the highest numbers of employees Stateside—as well as significant hiring overseas, especially in China (which dominated Eli Lilly’s listings of available jobs) and Europe.

Anybody looking for a pharmaceutical job in theUSwill tell you that it is one of the worst job markets inUShistory and that the number of new employees being hired is negligible.  Nevertheless, it is fun to rank big pharma companies when there is nothing else to do. To that end, here is the list of big pharma companies that are “hiring”

1.  Novartis

2,740 total worldwide jobs listed on website

Top nation:U.S., with 1,096 jobs listed on website

Next five countries:Switzerland(500 jobs);Germany(224);U.K.(127);India(113);Austria(109)

2.  Roche

1,450 total worldwide jobs listed on website

Top nation:U.S., with 591 jobs listed on website

Next five countries:Switzerland(240 jobs);Germany(192);China(148);PolandandSingapore(40 each)

3.  Sanofi

1,427 total worldwide jobs listed on website

Top nation:U.S., with 744 jobs listed on website

Next five countries:China(465 jobs);France(68);Germany(51);Canada(45);U.K.(18)

4.  Pfizer

815 total worldwide jobs listed on website

Top nation:U.S., with 332 jobs listed on website

Next five countries:China(249 jobs);U.K.(26);Mexico(18);Taiwan(17);Ukraine(16)

5.  GlaxoSmithKline

733 total worldwide jobs listed on website

Top nation:U.S., with 223 jobs listed on website

Next five countries:Belgium(174 jobs);U.K.(114);Singapore(55);AustraliaandGermany(33 each)

6.  Johnson & Johnson/Janssen Pharmaceuticals

655 total worldwide jobs listed on website

Top nation:U.S., with 232 jobs listed on website

Next five countries:Belgium(81 jobs);China(63); The Netherlands (40);Mexico(30);France(26)

7.  AbbVie (formerly Abbott Labs pharmaceutical division)

555 total worldwide jobs listed on website

Top nation:U.S., with 367 jobs listed on website

Next five countries:Germany(68 jobs);China(28);France(20);U.K.(16); The Netherlands (14)

8.  AstraZeneca

544 total worldwide jobs listed on website

Top nation: U.S., with 259 jobs listed on website3

Next five countries: China(202 jobs); U.K.(55)3;France (11);Turkey (8);Sweden (7)

9.  Eli Lilly

484 total worldwide jobs listed on website

Top nation:China, with 319 jobs listed on website

Next four countries2:U.S. (146 jobs);Canada (16);Australia (2);U.K. (1) 

10.  Bristol-Myers Squibb

368 total worldwide jobs listed on website

Top nation:U.S., with 318 jobs listed on website

Next five countries: Irelandand United Kingdom(12 jobs each); France(9)1;Belgium (7);Spain (5)

A quick perusal of the list indicates that Novartis, Roche and Sanofi, arguably the best positioned and well financed of the companies have the most open jobs listed on their corporate sites.  Pfizer, the world’s largest pharma company has a paltry 815 open jobs worldwide.

The remaining 6 companies on the list have had their share of misfortunes lately, most notably Eli Lilly and AstraZeneca whose development pipelines are thin. Maybe that is why Eli Lilly is aggressively expanding its operations inChinawhere it has made substantial R&D investments.

Johnson & Johnson has been rocked by highly publicized problems with its consumer products whereas Bristol-Myers Squibb has undergone significant restructuring in its executive suite of late.

Interestingly, the top three pharma companies in the world are European not US-owned. Maybe that explains why the US life sciences job market is so bad….go figure. Also, it is important to remember that roughly 300,000 pharmaceutical employees have lost their jobs since 2001.

Until next time…

Good Luck and Good Job Hunting!!!!!!!!!


Live From Shanghai, China: The 1st Sino-British Cell Death and Disease Symposium

Posted in BioEducation

Recent progress in cell death, stem cell biology and cancer research has created a new paradigm of research direction, shifting from pure analytical approaches toward a more translational one with animals and patients. The purpose of The 1st Cell Death and Disease Symposium to be held in Shanghai,China onMay 8-9 2013 is to create a forum for the interaction among scientists from China and other parts of the world. It will also provide a platform for development of collaboration.

This year’s symposium is the 4th installment of a series of Sino-British workshops and symposia on cell death. Presenters include scientists from China, England and Australia. Unlike previous conferences, this one will stream live on the Internet for those who are interested in real time viewing.  Vcasts of the symposium will also be available upon conclusion of the event.  For more information about the conference, presenters and agenda please click here

Live streaming in China is still very much in its formative stage. Therefore, those of you who are interested in paid access to a live video stream for the meeting or paid access to vcasts, please contact me via .  Please indicate in the subject line of the message if you are interested in the live stream or the vcasts.

Please note that registering for the conference online does not grant access to live or archived vcasts. This is a special feature offered by BioInsights, Inc in association with the conference organizers.

Until next time…

Good Luck and Good Job Hunting!!!!!!!!!!

Sandoz Moves Its Biosimilar Development Strategy Forward

Posted in BioEducation

Sandoz, the generics division of Novartis, is currently the world leader in the biosimilar market. In fact, if it was not for Sandoz, the biosimilar industry may never have gotten started in the first place! As some of you may know, Sandoz sued FDA (and won) to gain approval of its biosimilar human growth hormone. While FDA contends that Omnitrope is not really a biosimilar (it was approved as a “drug” rather than a biologic) most analysts agree that it was the first biosimilar product ever approved and sold in the US. 

As part of its global biosimilar strategy, Sandoz today announced that it had initiated Phase III clinical trails for US approval of biosimilar version of recombinant human granulocyte-colony stimulating factor(G-CSF) or filgrastim (Amgen’s Neupogen®) and another for global launch of PEG-filgrastim (Amgen’s Neulasta®); a PEGylated form of G-CSF.

The filgrastim study is designed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of Sandoz’s biosimilar filgrastim versus Neupogen® in breast cancer patients eligible for myelosuppressive chemotherapy treatment. These trials expected to support extension of commercialization to the US, the largest global market for biologics. The pegfilgrastim study, which is being conducted in breast cancer patients undergoing myelosuppressive chemotherapy treatment, represents the next major step in the Sandoz global biosimilar development program. Previously, Sandoz announced that it had initiated late stage clinical trials for a biosimilar version of Roche’s monoclonal antibody cancer treatment Rituxan®). Finally, Sandoz has eight to ten different biosimilar molecules at various stages of development in its pipeline.

Sandoz currently markets and sells three biosimilars: filgrastim (Zario®), somatropin (Omnitrope®) and epoetin alfa (Binocrit®) in countries across Europe and elsewhere. As mentioned above Omnitrope is also sold in the US. However, because FDA has yet to craft a regulatory approval pathway for biosimilars (despite legislation mandating their approval) it is illegal to sell biosimilars (with the exception of Omnitrope) in the US.

Once vilified and staunchly opposed by most major pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, the biosimilar business has been picking up steam in the past few years. To that end, companies like Merck, Pfizer, Teva and more recently Amgen and Biogen (all of whom lobbied against an approval pathway for biosimilars in the US) announced plans to compete on the global biosimilar market.

The decision of these companies to enter the biosimilar market is largely a result of downward pricing pressures on pharmaceutical and biotechnology drugs and near-empty drug pipelines at most major life sciences companies. Nevertheless, it is still not clear whether or not a robust biosimilar market truly exists. To wit, biosimilars have been in the market in the EU for the past fiver years and have not gained much traction there. However, the real biosimilar markets probably exist in China, Brazil and other emerging countries where there are large populations and emerging middle classes but drug prices are under tight government regulation. Because of this, the uptake of biosimilars in these markets will likely be greater than in Europe and the US.

Until next time…

Good Luck and Good Job Hunting!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


China By The Numbers

Posted in BioEducation

Much has been written about the emerging markets in China. While there are likely thousands of business article and white papers on China’s economic expansion, I was unable to find a single source that provided me with some vital economic and social statistics to explain China’s rise as an economic power; that is until I received OnWisconsin, a quarterly publication from my alma mater the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

An article entitled “Delicate Balance” by Jenny Price ’96 provided me with a plethora of data that cogently and expertly explained the Chinese ascendancy as an economic power. Not surprisingly, the data offered by Price was compared with economic, social and business data from the US. Some of the information was startling to say the least (bold italics); so here goes:

Urban Population

United States 82%

China 47%

Median Age

United States 36.9 years

China 35.5

Total Fertility Rate

United States 2.06 children born per woman

China 1.54 children born per woman

Infant Mortality Rate (death per 1,000 live births)

United States 6.06

China 16.06

Net Migration Rate

United States 4.18 migrants/1,000 population

China -0.33 migrants/1000 population

Largest City

United States New York/Newark 19.3 million

Shanghai 16.6 million


United States $1.903 trillion/$1.27 trillion

China $1.307 trillion/$1.506 trillion

Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by Sector


United States 1.2%

China 9.6%


United States 22.2%

China 46.8%


United States 76.7%

China 43.6%

External Debt

United States $13.98 trillion

China $406.6 billion

Public Debt

United States 58.9% of GDP

China 17.5 % of GDP

Budget Revenues/Expenditures

United States $2.092 trillion/$3.397 trillion

China $1.149 trillion/$1.27 trillion

Population (2011 estimate)

United States 313,232,044

China 1,336,718,015

Literacy (ages 15 or older or can read and write)

United States 99%

China, 91.6%

Life Expectancy at Birth

United States 78.37 years

China 74.68 years

After reviewing the data, it became much more apparent to me as to why so many companies, most notably pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, are investing heavily in the Chinese market. Financial analysts predict that the Chinese pharmaceutical market will surpass the US (currently the world’s largest) by the end of the decade. That said, I think it may be time for the American public to learn more about China. Learning as much as possible about the competition is essential if you want to stay in the game.

Until next time…

Good Luck and Good Job Hunting!!!!!!!!!!!


Boehringer Ingelheim Announces Plans to Bolster Its Manufacturing Capability in China

Posted in BioBusiness

The German pharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim (BI) today announced that it plans on investing 70 million Euros to expand its manufacturing facility in the Zhangijiang High-Tech Park in Shanghai China. The expansion will continue through 2013 and the number of employees will increase from 240 to 400 at the new facility

BI was one of the first pharmaceutical companies to enter China in 1994 and the planned expansion was proposed to solidify the company’s position in the emerging Chinese market. The expansion will be modular and based on lean manufacturing practices to provide world class manufacturing capability at the site.   The company already sells certain therapeutic products in China including respiratory, cardiovascular, and CNS. Expansion of the existing manufacturing facility is intended to allow BI to expand into other therapeutic areas that include diabetes, oncology and stroke prevention.

Late last week Merck announced plans to build a new R&D facility in Beijing. Other companies have also announced plans to increase their presence in the Chinese market. I think it may be the time for American student to begin to consider Mandarin as their foreign language in primary and second school education programs.

Until next time…

Good Luck and Good Job Hunting!!!!!


The Impact of Pharma Downsizing on Manufacturing Plant Closures

Posted in BioBusiness

The Pharmalot blog today reported that pharma and biotech downsizing, restructuring and outsourcing have resulted in 38 manufacturing facilities in 2011. While this may not sound like a lot given the ongoing tough economy, the post reports that 65 facilities were closed in 2010. According to some estimates, these closures have resulted in the loss of roughly 18,000 life sciences manufacturing jobs in the past two years. Sadly, pharmaceutical manufacturing, like almost all other manufacturing jobs in the US are being lost at an unprecedented rate. Further, many of these manufacturing jobs are being outsourced to multinational CMOs or to manufacturing facilities being built by pharma companies in emerging markets like Latin America, Eastern Europe and Asia.

Not surprisingly, most of the 2011 closures were in the Northeast (8) resulting in the loss of roughly 1,400 jobs. And, not surprisingly again, one of the hardest hit states was New Jersey; home to almost all of the major pharmaceutical companies in the world. The next region that was hit hard is the Mid-Atlantic (7) with notable closures in Maryland (Shire Pharmaceuticals) and North Carolina (DSM Pharmaceutical Products).

Interestingly, while plant closures are on the rise, there is new manufacturing facility construction that may help to offset the losses. However, unlike the past, many of the new facilities are being financed by academic institutions and not-for-profits rather than life sciences companies. According to the post, roughly 106 new North American (not only the US) are underway and represent an investment value of $4.3 billion. The new Shire facility being constructed in Lexington, MA and the International Vaccine Center (InterVac) in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan were cited as examples.

Despite the constructions of several new manufacturing facilities in North America, it is obvious that most major life sciences companies are looking South and East for future pharmaceutical and biomanufacturing capabilities. The bottom line is that labor and the cost of goods are cheaper in these markets and in contrast with the past, there are skilled workforces in place to manufacture life sciences products according to American, European and Japanese Current Good Manufacturing Practices. 

Until next time…

Good Luck and Good Job Hunting!!!!!!!!


Merck Continues Its Eastward Expansion

Posted in BioBusiness

Merck today announced that it will establish an Asia Research and Development headquarters in Beijing, China as part of a $1.5 billion commitment the company made to invest in China over the next five years.

The new headquarters will be focused on new drug discovery and development. Merck’s Asian commercial operations (known as MSD outside of the US and Canada) are located in Shanghai, China and will remain a separate entity from the new R&D center in Beijing. In addition to these facilities, MSD possesses manufacturing capabilities at many other locations throughout China.

Merck joins a growing list of big pharma companies that are rapidly establishing R&D centers in China and other emerging markets. With this in mind, don’t expect US R&D jobs to return to the US anytime soon! Now, may be a good time for American students to reconsider an anticipated career in life sciences R&D. On the other hand, the future is bright for Chinese life sciences graduate students and postdocs who are training in the US.

While Horace Greeley may have gotten it right in his day, I think the saying “Go East young man/women” may be more apt for the 21st century life sciences industry.

Until next time…

Good Luck and Good Job Hunting!!!!!!


Tis The Season: Novartis to Cut 2,000 Jobs

Posted in BioJobBuzz

It seems that big pharma always waits for early Fall to announce pending job cuts. Novartis, Europe’s second largest pharmaceutical company, announced two days ago that it would eliminate 2,000 jobs mainly in the US and Switzerland but add new employees to operations in emerging markets like India and China. Novartis is just another addition to a growing list of big pharma companies that are slashing jobs in the US and Europe and hiring new employees in lower cost markets.

The announce cuts represent a 1 percent reduction in Novartis’ global workforce. The cuts will be implemented over the next three years and are predicted to save the company in excess of $200 million annually. 

According to a company spokesperson, Novartis will eliminate 1,100 jobs in Switzerland, with the balance in the U.S., Jimenez said. Some research will be moved to the U.S. from Switzerland, and reductions will be made in technical research and development, data management, clinical trial monitoring, drug safety and regulatory affairs. Novartis will add 700 positions in China and India in data management and trial monitoring.

As part of the reorganization and job cuts the company will close an over-the-counter drug manufacturing plant in Nyon, Switzerland and chemical production facilities in Basel and Torre, Italy.

The current cuts come after Novartis announced last November that it would eliminate 1400 U.S. sales jobs and more recently in March that it would reduce operations in the UK.

Although life science pundits recently suggested that job cuts in the pharmaceutical industry are slowing and may have hit rock bottom, it appears that the carnage is still taking place and will likely continue well into the future as more resources and monies are invested in emerging markets.

Until next time…

Good Luck and Good Job Hunting


Astra Zeneca to Invest $200 Million in New Manufacturing Facility in China

Posted in BioBusiness

British pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca today announced that it would invest $200 million into a new manufacturing facility located in China Medical City in Jiangsu province in Eastern China. This is the company’s largest global investment ever in a single manufacturing facility. The new plant which will be completed by 2013 will manufacture intravenous and oral solid drugs. 

AstraZeneca was one of the first Western pharmaceutical companies to establish a presence in China (1993) and has fast become one of the leading biopharmaceutical companies in the country doing about $1.0 billion in business annually. 

Many of Astra Zeneca’s competitors including Novartis, Roche, Merck & Co. and others have also recently made large investments into Chinese R&D and manufacturing facilities. If this doesn’t eliminate anyone’s doubt that pharma is shifting its focus from the West to emerging markets, I am not sure what will!!! While this shift may be bad news for American life scientist seeking employment, it is certainly welcome news for Chinese Nationals who received their life sciences training in the US and other Western nations.

Until next time…

Good Luck and Good Job Hunting (there are openings in China!!!!!!)


Looking for a Job in the Life Science Industry? Try China!

Posted in BioJobBuzz

By now, most BioJobBlog readers have heard that China is poised to become a world leader in the life sciences. As some of you may already know, over 80 per cent of the worlds active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) that are used to produce FDA-approved medicines are synthesized in China and exported to manufacturing facilities throughout the world. Further, not a day goes bye without a press release about a new partnership forged between multinational life sciences companies and a Chinese partner. Finally, the Chinese government is heavily investing in the life science industry in an attempt to manufacture medicines for internal use and to export. 

Therefore, it should come as no surprise that Chinese life sciences companies are hiring. One such company is ShangPharma Corporation. ShangPharma was established in 2002 and has locations in Chengdu and Shanghai, China. It is one of China’s largest contract research organizations and employs over 1,600 persons. The company offers discovery and preclinical development services in both chemistry and biology including API and biologics manufacturing. 

The company is currently looking for a person with a PhD or Masters degree with expertise in CNS and/or cognitive subhuman primates (cymologous and/or rhesus monkeys) models. This is a Group Leader position and the ideal candidate will have a background in pharmacology and neurosurgery. Strong communication skills and the ability to speak and write reports in English are required. Please click here for more information or to apply for the position.

While working in China may not be the first choice for most Americans, it may be ideal for foreign students who trained in the US and have a good command of the English language. Whether you are Chinese or American, a sobering fact to remember is that almost 300,000 American pharmaceutical employees have lost their jobs since 2001; making this one of the worst life sciences job markets in history!

Until next time…

Good Luck and Good Job Hunting!!!!!!