Amgen Inc. has made the decision to lay off a quarter of its workforce in Cambridge, Mass., in conjunction with its decision to end neuroscience research.
According to a report from the Boston Business Journal on Monday, Amgen cut 149 workers from its Cambridge research facility. The Thousand Oaks biotech had been bolstering its presence in New England over the last five years, the report said, and moving employees from California to Kendall Square in Cambridge as of 2017.
Some staff have been offered relocation to Amgen’s other North American sites, the company said in an email to the Business Journal. The Cambridge location will continue operations with a “process development presence” for pipeline drugs and next-gen technology.
Amgen initially made the announcement about ending its neuroscience research division in its third-quarter earnings call Oct. 29, with the head of R&D Dr. David Reese citing “challenges inherent in developing drugs for major neurologic diseases” as a contributing factor.
The biotech made an exception for programs centered on neuro inflammation, which will be pursued by the company’s inflammation therapeutic area.
Amgen will consolidate its U.S.-based research to Thousand Oaks and San Francisco.
Shares of Amgen (AMGN) closed Monday down 41 cents, or a fraction of a percent, to $220.70 on the Nasdaq.