In the wake of last week’s decision to discontinue development of a key potential Alzheimer’s treatment, Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly and Co. (NYSE: LLY) says it will cut jobs and "reevaluate staffing decisions made in anticipation of positive results." The company says the decision to reduce work force is also related to drugs with forthcoming patent expirations. Lilly would not confirm a total number of layoffs, but says those affected will stay on the job through the end of the year.
The affected employees will then have three months to seek another job within the company. If they cannot find another job within Lilly, they will be let go. The cuts will hit the company’s U.S. Bio-Medicines sales team as a way to "better meet our future business needs." A spokesman says the jobs are spread throughout the country and are "field-based roles."
Company executives expressed their disappointment in the once-promising treatment not hitting its primary targets in a late-stage trial. At the time the discontinuation was announced, Chief Executive Officer John Lechleiter said "the results of the solanezumab EXPEDITION3 trial were not what we had hoped for and we are disappointed for the millions of people waiting for a potential disease-modifying treatment for Alzheimer’s disease. We will evaluate the impact of these results on the development plans for solanezumab and our other Alzheimer’s pipeline assets."
Despite the setback, the company has said it will continue the fight against Alzheimer’s.