600 jobs lost amid restructure as firm moves to Boston life sciences hub

US pharmaceutical firm Alexion is to cut 20% of its global workforce and relocate its headquarters as part of an extensive restructuring programme. The company will close multiple sites, including its manufacturing facility in Rhode Island, US.

Alexion believes that the reorganisation will help it to focus on core therapeutic areas and grow its rare disease business. Chief executive Ludwig Hantson said that moving the company’s headquarters to Boston, Massachusetts, by mid-2018 will ‘provide access to a larger biopharmaceutical talent pool and a variety of potential life-science partners’ that could support key development initiatives. The move is the latest in a long line of companies congregating in a few hub areas of the US.

The 600 job losses will include some R&D staff from de-prioritised areas, while certain finance and IT roles will be outsourced. Alexion expects the restructure to cost up to $440 million (£324 million), but to ultimately generate annual savings of $250 million, some of which will be reinvested in research activities.