New CEO to announce outcome of new restructuring plan in Jan Feb, what's he going to say?
Agree with the post below re- selling house. It's no different than if you take a part exchange on something be it house or car etc. You take a hit because you have the security of not having the hassle of selling it yourself. No-one forces you to use Cartus; you are at liberty to try and sell yourself, but if the initial valuation by the estate agent is out and you don't price competitively to start with you could be in for a long wait and a lot of grief. Just be thankful that if you get the offer you have a choice about what to do - not many places offer this any more.
"Let's say your house is worth £200k. You will put it on the market with Cartus (and a flooding of other houses at the same time) and to be competitive might offer 5% off what your house is worth (£190k). Then after 30-45 days they strongly recommend that you reduce it by 10% to attract buyers (£171k). After 90 days cartus will go off and they will value your house which usually is around 10-15% of the latest price (£150k)"
Err - isn't this just one of the 'joys' of selling a house? In your example what makes you think that it was 'worth' £200K - if after 90days it hasn't sold for £171K then the original valuation obviously wasn't accurate. We always like to think that our properties are worth more than they really are. The price someone will pay is what the real value is. With the Cartus deal you actually buy insurance (which might turn out to equate to 5-10% of the real market value - not some useless estate agents initial estimation) that ensures that at your new location you enter the market chain free in a better bargaining position and without the worry that some a*hole isn't going to pull out of buying your house at the last minute.
but for anyone who actually sold their house without moving within AZ the selling price was about 20% below estate agents valuations too.
For the person asking about the relocation policy.. With experience of moving with my husband from Charnwood to Alderley Park. Let's say your house is worth £200k. You will put it on the market with Cartus (and a flooding of other houses at the same time) and to be competitive might offer 5% off what your house is worth (£190k). Then after 30-45 days they strongly recommend that you reduce it by 10% to attract buyers (£171k). After 90 days cartus will go off and they will value your house which usually is around 10-15% of the latest price (£150k). That's what you will be offered (if it's the same as last time - getting 1/4 or 1/5 off the price of your propert is about average). You can challenge their quotes but typically you are compared against neighbouring properties (which were also on through Cartus in our case). You also have one week to accept their valuation and if you reject it, you can't go back so you feel like you should bite the bullet and move on.
On a positive, you do get the price difference if Cartus then sell your house for more. But don't expect much more - in our case we got an extra £3k.
The enhanced relocation sounds good, but in practise after tax, most people lost out in moving to the NW. It will be interesting to see if 60% of people who have just moved, would be prepared to go through this all again.
AND remember you might have a job, but your partner is now looking for work, so getting a mortgage on one salary means you can't afford the same mortgage you had and now you are moving to a more expensive area. So you'll be downsizing. AZ really tried to make it possible but there are things like this that aren't / can't be accounted for.
Never be bitter it just destroys you. You have a couple of years to look for something better, take your time you have this luxury.
If I get the chance to move, and that's a big if, then a house purchase is out the question. Firstly, even if we could sell the one we're in, we couldnt afford one in cambridge. Secondly, this reorganization doesnt solve nor address the underlying problem at AZ i.e. no pipeline. So this mess is just the start and in a few years someone will say we can't afford Cambridge and we will all be out the door. Life's too short to tolerate this nonsense so I'm going before I'm pushed. And they can stuff their severance where the sun don't shine.
Mene mentioned a figure of 60% of those offered a job in Cambridge are expected to take it (take careful note of the wording). The up coming selection process will be brutal, HR will be stock-piling the white wash as we speak. I suspect there will be an awful lot of empty positions moving down to cambridge.
Wrong! Purchase of CAT was almost entirely funded by the sale of the royalty stream from Humira to Royalty Pharma. From the case study on the RP website:
"AZ’s strategic interest in CAT was to acquire the antibody technology platform and pipeline drugs. Nonetheless, in acquiring CAT for $1.3bn, AZ also purchased a royalty interest in Abbott’s Humira®, a non-core passive financial asset. Partnering with RP optimized AZ’s acquisition of CAT:
RP acquired the Humira® royalty for $700mm in cash up-front.
As a result, AZ’s net acquisition cost of CAT’s technology platform and pipeline was ultimately reduced to only $300mm after adjusting for the $700mm value of the Humira® royalty and approximately $300mm of CAT cash."
AZ are working on the assumption that 60% of those offered a move to Cambridge will accept. This is the figure Mene has told senior staff. He is in for a surprise.
For the record, AZ does not buy houses for those who choose to move. There is a carrot, but not a like-for-like purchase entirely at AZ's expense. That carrot didn't match the differential between EMids and NW in the UK. Sure won't match that between NW and Cambridge if the same is on the table.
I don't think the poster at 21.04 was suggesting that a lot of these roles will be filed by ex-AP folks. It will be interesting to see how easily AZ will be able to recruit in Cambridge though. Probably not as easy as they think.
What a wonderfully logical breakdown. Wake up math-boy. AZ isn't moving to Cambridge so it can buy 1000 people expensive houses! You'll be left behind. Sort of like the spaceship with hairdresser ant telephone sanitisers.
So does anyone want to speculate what the new Cambridge organisation will look like?
Here are the facts:
2850 jobs currently
700 jobs to stay at AP
A minimum 550 jobs made redundant
Up to 1100 roles move to Cambridge
Up to 300 roles move overseas
Up to 80 jobs move to Macc site
New Cambridge site:
360 jobs from London HQ
540 jobs from MedImmune Cambridge
1100 jobs recruited from former AP staff or elsewhere.
So, in my opinion, the 1100 could breakdown as follows:
In my experience most lab-based scientists knew the values and limitations of their in vivo models very well - but higher levels insisted on this that or the other animal model of whatever because it was the essential disease model.
So, not so much a counter argument as a cry for help. You would do well to remember that the vast majority of the top 50 blockbusters over the past 30 years were not derived from HTS. In fact, we obtained them employing low throughput screens and the tradtional animal models that you criticise from your lofty position of ignorance. If you are not even aware of the basic history of drug discovery then your contribution is neither valid, informed or relevant. So, given that you are a walking metaphor for HTS and no doubt always in need of the last word on any subject, you may have it.
Utter, utter nonsense. You are looking for a simple scapegoat outside your own scientific discipline, that’s all. You lost it - and your job.
Sorry but that is utter nonsense. It is near impossible to obtain good, predictive animal models of human disease. Their limitations have always been appreciated by clinicians. What we could have done without was any respect given to that layer of self-serving stupidity that gave us screening of mixtures of compounds of questionable chemical integrity that had been through multiple freeze-thaw cycles in physiologicaly irrelevant assays in over-expressed systems employing either forcibly coupled receptors or non-endogenous substrates and ovary cells from Chinese hamsters. Compound that with routinely compromised data analysis and what you end up with is development saturated with sub-standard chemical entities. Poor animal models my arse.
HTS and fragment screening are just tools, some companies know how to use them, some don’t. Main issue is the reliance on piss poor animal models. Have you ever asked yourself WHY drugs fail in Phase-II even if all the animal data looked good? This has nothing to do with HTS.
I remember witnessing HTS 'in-action' with it's associated compromised data analysis and just feeling relieved that Sir James Black was not around to see it. He would have cried. Every company copied each other so we all shared the same flawed approach. Sadly, that now means we will all share the same fate. The Pfizer collapse was big, and so is ours. But for christs sake, open your eyes and see that this is only the start. GSK, Novartis, Merck, Abbot, BMS, Lilly, J&J, Shire, Amgen etc, etc, all use the same approach and have equally weak pipelines with major patent expiries over the next five years. What a fecking mess. So to all those button-pushers, the pioneers of HTS and the retarded management who let it all happen, on behalf of patients everywhere, thanks for nothing.
Amen to that. And let us never forget the pile of managerial dross produced by the 'More-Is-Better' approach. The easiest way to get promoted was to hit an easily achieved target e.g compounds screened, screens run etc. After all, numbers were the only things understood by the guys at the top. They were sold the argument that if we screened more, we should obtain a proportionate increase in the number of clinical candidates and hence marketed products. Bullshit. And that's not said in hindsight. There was significant vocal criticism of this approach during its early 90s birth. But of course, we were accused of being negative or too academic. And it's clear that exactly the same scenario has occurred in all big pharma. It is interesting that one of the great proponents of HTS from its early days at Pfizer was recently sacked by Novartis in the USA. Novartis are clearly worried by their empty pipeline and are trying to avoid a Pfizer/AZ style collapse by eliminating the robot-loving, numbers-oriented, power-point scientists. I agree, scientists should be driving the process again with management taking a background role and HR just fu&*ing off completely. But I think its too late for us. Personally, I don't see the Cambridge thing happening. I think the headcount reductions will simply make it easier for GSK to assimilate what is left. And given what happened to the Pharmacia, Wyeth, Warner-Lambert and King Pharma staff who did move to Groton (most were sacked after they relocated), does anyone really want to take the risk of moving themselves and family to Cambridge?
HTS isn't a problem - it simply kickstarts a process. The issue is failure to invest in basic study further down the line to understand what the outcome is doing and then being realistic in stopping chemical aproaches that have substantial issues rather than sitting around constantly discussing how these problems can be managed - as a long gone senior at AZ omce said (yup, they weren't all bad) problems only ever get worse as they progress in clinical trials. This attitude was seen as negative but was actually realistic. So, NCEs were propped up until they made expensive and often public failures - leading to a media wit observing that "if AZ didn't have bad luck they would have no luck at all!"
One of the principal reasons for the failure of Pharma to discover new drugs was the industrialisation of discovery ie the idea that the techniques to produce eg cars could be brought into pharma. Therefore HTS and associated chemistry with little real understanding of what was happening but what the hell the required number of hits and molecules were made so all was well with the world. Utter nonsense. We need to get back to letting scientists do the science, test the ideas and be allowed to think
Re Moderna deal
“I met with quite a number of companies, and nobody I’ve met understood it as deeply as Pascal [Soriot] does, in terms of what this technology can do,” Bancel [CEO of Moderna] says. At a breakfast meeting in December, the first meeting between Bancel and Soriot, they hit it off right away. “He got it in five minutes,” Bancel says. He adds: “Pascal was willing to pay what I was asking because he understands that this technology can do things in a profound way. It can treat disease in a way you can’t with other technology.”
$240MM - one of the biggest deals ever for an untested platform line and the CEO decided without any internal AZ help. Due diligence??? Well would you tell the new boss this is a really bad idea when he is already sacking so many???
A little look at Moderna - they only have 32 staff. And looking at the employee reviews on Glassdoor they are not a happy bunch - every last one of them. They raised $40MM last year so those VC's must be laughing all the way to the bank. Normally doubling your money in 2 years is what they are after. 8 fold increase in 1 year - Wow!!! The main thing Moderna have been doing is patenting, broad and deep. 100's of claims - this is often poor patent writing but hey, it is just marketing material. The whole area is a patent mess with everyone claiming everything and the attorneys getting rich filing. The only way to sort is out is to go to court but this won't happen because that only happens when someone gets a product and starts making money. Which ain't ever going to happen.
What 100% validated targets have AZ got for this expensive, untried platform technology that they couldn't do with the safer small molecule/biologic routes??? None??!!!
AZ is toast - 3 years max.
"The issue is not Big Pharma vs. CRO but more rational target selection vs. shots on target."
You make a valid point regarding the current strategy employed being flawed but then mess up your argument mixing it up with tactics (eg HTS - which is not as widely discredited as you make out. Its failures often go back to the flawed strategy above) and Ph3 failures which have more to do with safety/ differentiation/ commercial issues than target selection strategy.
I think we both agree that something needs to change or the whole industry (Big Pharma/Biotech/CRO) is gone. Personally I think AZ has run out of time/cash to turn around but would love to be proved wrong. Good luck.
AZs issue has been drugs failing in phase 3 clinical trials. These drugs have been developed inhouse AND bought from CROs.
The issue is not Big Pharma vs. CRO but more rational target selection vs. shots on target.
Big Pharma and CROs have, through the use of widely discredited technologies (HTS etc), applied the "if you shoot enough times, you're bound to score" philosophy to medicine development. Clearly this is wasteful - but in good times it was acceptable; to mis-quote Jurassic Park - the technology allowed them to do it but they didn't think "should we do it"
In more "enlightened times", we need to be focusing more on getting a single molecule through to the market, and that requires increased understanding of both the target and the molecule (and to some extent, the Market in to which you'll be launching).
Don't, by default, link the Big Pharma model with failure and CRO model with success. Both are equally dead if they continue with the old approach.
"I don't understand why big pharma cannot do R&D and everyone thinks bio tech and CROs can. Is it because they employ poor scientists in big pharma or poor management. Or is it CROs etc are just dressing up what they do/achieve"
I've worked in both biotechs, CROs and big pharma. Poor management has messed up big pharma. Biotechs & CROs massively big up what they can and have done. Nothing good will come out of the CROs. Perhaps something out of the biotechs, but probably an even less efficient model than in-house research. Question is, how long until the pendulum starts to swing back towards sanity.
"Pharma has to make less profits and needs to work for the common good"
Now here is a dilemna - Major pharma needs to keep its investors happy, they will move their cash unless the profits give the same returns they can get elsewhere. Drug R&D needs some philanthropy or altruism and big pharma can't provide it!
Get used to it. Pharma has to make less profits and needs to work for the common good. Making a profit of 20 percent is pretty fantastic compared to 33 percent
So you are saying management.
A biotech company often starts as a result of an idea that shows promise and once they have projects mature enough for Phase I/II/III chances are moderately good that it will succeed. Big Pharma R&D forces people to try to come up with ideas within areas that may not work and pour loads of resources into projects that will fail before FTiM. Internal projects that make it past this point have a history of investment into them and there is a reluctance to drop them and they are pushed too far before they are dropped. A good idea born in a Big Pharma is not pursued if it's not within the box that management has described...
I don't understand why big pharma cannot do R&D and everyone thinks bio tech and CROs can. Is it because they employ poor scientists in big pharma or poor management. Or is it CROs etc are just dressing up what they do/achieve
"Welp, I reckon R&D has 18 months before AZ bails out. Soon we follow the standard R&D model, buy small biotechs and get rid of internal R&D. AZ to focus on clinical development, only we're 4 years too late, compared to the rest
4 Years behind who? Which other big Pharma have completely pulled out of R&D? Novartis? GSK? Pfizer? Sanofi? Talk about ridiculous scaremongering for no reason"
I agree with both of you.
1) This should've been done five years ago.
2) All other "Big Pharma" are also in similar positions and need to make drastic changes too...
"Welp, I reckon R&D has 18 months before AZ bails out. Soon we follow the standard R&D model, buy small biotechs and get rid of internal R&D. AZ to focus on clinical development, only we're 4 years too late, compared to the rest"
4 Years behind who? Which other big Pharma have completely pulled out of R&D? Novartis? GSK? Pfizer? Sanofi? Talk about ridiculous scaremongering for no reason
Welp, I reckon R&D has 18 months before AZ bails out. Soon we follow the standard R&D model, buy small biotechs and get rid of internal R&D. AZ to focus on clinical development, only we're 4 years too late, compared to the rest.
Purchase of CAT was largely funded by cutting inflammation research at AP, now a deal for RNA-based products is costing the rest of their research.
Name one product currently sold by AstraZeneca/MedImmune that originated by the CAT team in Cambridge - there isn't one - yes they made products for Abbott and HGSI - no they have not made a single product that is currently sold by the company.
The reason AZ failed to produce the goods is down to management - from senior management to middle management. Its that simple. Firstly you have stupid metrics and appraisal systems designed to hack off scientists and prevent them from doing research. You cannot have section managers who haven't been in the labs for 20 years telling research chemists they are not allowed to submit compounds containing nitro, aromatic amino or cyano groups for starters. You cannot have "modellers" telling chemists what to make based on whether it fits the modellers virtual site. Its lunacy. Proper research wasn't allowed at AZ and that's why it failed. If the same style of management appears in Cambridge its doomed from the start.
Alderley and Charnwood were botrh like that. Difficult to move on from, cheaper places to live than Cambridge & south east etc. So people stayed on (& on, & on) when the firm was overall shrinking. Meant many staff were promoted to fairly irrelevant, unneccessary project leader, senior scientist, etc roles on a more-or-less time served basis. Which stuffed up the company with relatively non-productive quite senior (costly) mid-managers'. Hence much of the poor morale low productivity.
In case anyone failed to notice, several sites have closed to R&D over the last few years and Alderley is just the latest. The new site at Cambridge could be a great place to work - free of the risk-averse culture and over-management, with better IT, more cash to invest maybe. I hope so.
Which is the point. The AP culture is not so much risk-averse as self-congratulatory. Sorry - but there are so, so many people there - and not just managers - who should have "moved on" or been "moved on" years ago. But why didn't they? Nowhere to go! By relocating to Cambridge you get - more than anything else - a unit that is more diverse, more open to change and capable of vibrancy and self-renewal. I am all for it.
"2013 is the expiry date for the lucrative redundancy T & C's put in place 20 years ago to stop the aggressive takeover of Zeneca by Hanson"
This is a half-truth - there was no 'expiry date'. AZ would have changed T&C's already if they could.
AP in Cambridge will never open as R&D. Promise. In a year we will hear: "Ops there is no money for that".
apparently there are no changes to the redunancy packages till 2016. Not bad if you are pre 2006 then eh?
2013 is the expiry date for the lucrative redundancy T & C's put in place 20 years ago to stop the aggressive takeover of Zeneca by Hanson - is this coincidence ? Whatever the reality, having worked at several AZ R&D sites before leaving of my own accord, I can tell you AP was the worst by far - weird anachronistic place. The announcement this does not surprise me
AP will continue R&D for another couple of years. 2013 was the year the redundancy T&Cs were going to be reviewed. Does this mean that by the time people are leaving their jobs they will be getting the reduced payment?
To all ex-colleagues still at Alderley, just accept the reality that Astrazeneca don't want you anymore, thats why they are exiting.Take the redundancy money and run.To those at Macclesfield you have been spared for now but are living on borrowed time. its a question of when they close you and not if.
In the webpage accessible via this link is another link to the presentation given to investors yesterday.
Its just frustration
the beatings will continue until morale improves......
Rank and file can only screw up if managemebt system is inept - anywhere, not just AZ
2 years on and the same BS.
....real scientists, the workers, the soldiers.... blah blah. You are the cynics that kill off any spark of innovation and now you have killed of your jobs.
Hear hear! The last few days has been my worst ever at AP. Not because of what was announced but by all of the BS moaning by the ground down scientists that would bring the company back to its former glory if only someone would have let them. Take a hard look in the mirror people!! - YOU SCREWED IT UP FOR THE REST OF US!!
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