Immunologist Takes Scalpel to Merck R&D

Immunologist Roger Perlmutter is shaking things up again at Merck. After eliminating a corps of managers in June, the newly anointed Merck R&D chief is now following through on the “major surgery” that he promised in an interview in The Wall Street Journal last month. The drug giant will cut 8500 more jobs as part of its ongoing overhaul. The layoffs, amounting to roughly 20% of the workforce, are intended to cut operating expenses by $2.5 billion by the end of 2015, the company announced today in a press release.

Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier explained today in The Wall Street Journal that the firm aims to rebound from recent failures and devote more resources to the company’s most promising efforts, including cancer immunotherapy and diabetes research.