Business briefs: Boston Scientific, Eli Lilly, Genzyme

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Boston Scientific expanded on its 2011 plan to downsize, announcing that it will increase the number of job cuts initially forecast to around 1,000 through a mix of attrition and layoffs. A company spokesperson told MM&M that because the layoffs are being decided unit by unit, it would be premature to say how many cuts might fall on sales and marketing. He did say the layoffs will happen in "business units that are not performing as strongly as we would like." The shakeup is expected to save the company between $100 million and $115 million. Tuesday's news was accompanied by downbeat sales numbers, with fourth quarter sales off $1.8 billion, or 1.4% compared to the same period in 2011, and sales for 2012 down 5%, to $7.2 billion. The latest numbers are a significant contrast to 2011, when fourth quarter sales fell by 8% from the same period in 2010, although overall 2011 sales represented a 2% drop from those the year before. “We are pleased, but not satisfied, with our improved performance in the quarter,” president and CEO Mike Mahoney said in a statement Tuesday.

Zyprexa sales, or the lack thereof, took a bite out of Eli Lilly's sales numbers for the quarter and the year, the company reported Tuesday. The latest tally puts fourth quarter sales for 2012 at just under $6 billion, down 1% from the year before. That includes a 2% drop in US sales during the quarter, although animal health sales and higher-priced pharmaceuticals helped smooth the quarter's results. Strong performers included Cymbalta, which saw sales rise 25% compared to the same period the year before. Forteo also gave the firm a boost, increasing 20%, compared to the same period the year before. Lilly reported that it exited 2012 7% lighter in global sales, largely due to Zyprexa's going generic in major markets. Marketing and SG&A costs slid 5% during the year, to $7.5 billion, and the company increased its R&D spend to $5.3 billion to back late-stage clinical trials. Regarding Lilly's experimental HDL-boosting cholesterol drug, the company said it remains committed to the drug and that it cannot be lumped in with Merck's Tredaptive, which is being pulled in Europe, and Roche's CETP inhibitor, which was scrapped in March 2012.

Genzyme announced Monday it has put up its leukemia drug Lemtrada up for another round of regulatory scrutiny in hopes of securing an indication for relapsing MS. The Sanofi subsidiary said in a statement it expects the FDA to review the application in the second half of this year and that it is currently being reviewed by the European Medicines Agency.
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