Job cuts at AstraZeneca

By Peter MacArthur 10:40am, March 18, 2013 - Updated 9:58am, March 19, 2013
More than 1,000 jobs based at AstraZeneca in Wilmington are going away as the company tries to boost productivity by consolidating some operations.

Company spokesman Tony Jewell tells WDEL News that AstraZeneca is rearranging its research and development efforts and is relocating its Global Medicines Group to Gaithersburg, MD.

"How this will impact Wilmington? There will be a reduction of about 1,200 positions here in Wilmington, largely in research and development, late stage development of medicines. Those will be carried out by 2015. That said, Wilmington will remain the North America commercial headquarters for the company."

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350 jobs will be transferred to AstraZeneca's site in Maryland, while 170 jobs will go overseas.

Jewell says the positions will be moved or eliminated based on the needs of the business, such as when projects expire, so that work flow isn't disrupted by the moves.

Gov. Markell commented on the news at the New Castle County Chamber of Commerce annual dinner.

"It's a real blow, and it's a blow to the state and it's a blow to all of them," Markell says.

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Markell says AstraZeneca continues to be a "good corporate citizen" in Delaware, and says the state will do what it can to support the employees who will lose their jobs.

Senator Carper, who as Governor convinced AstraZeneca to come to Delaware, calls the announcement "a body blow" to the state, but appreciates the fact that the company decided to keep it's U.S. headquarters - and 2,300 jobs - in Delaware.

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