Top 10 Pharma Companies: Who’s Recruiting?

Pharma IQ
Posted: 07/26/2016

As the Pharmaceutical industry continues to grow, many have asked where the upcoming investments can be expected to take place. While mapping out the areas of interest specifically which would gain investment from pharma firms over 2016, Tom Macfarlane, drug development professional  noted:

“Much growth in the sector is being driven by expansion into developing markets, thus increasing demand for people with international experience. Taking the supply chain as an example, although track-and-trace initiatives should simplify and facilitate logistics in the long-term, in the short term there may be increasing competition for those with specialist knowledge of developing markets.

“Additionally, changes in the broader business model are driving a need for non-traditional skillsets and backgrounds, especially technology and the healthcare-provider/payor side. Pharma companies are digitising their internal processes and data, taking an increasing interest in electronic marketing as a more cost-effective alternative to large teams of sales-reps, and needing to obtain and make use data from patients and heathcare providers. One can see the reflection of this in the healthcare workstreams being pioneered by the tech giants, such as Apple, Google and IBM.”

The Pharma IQ team has conducted some research and compiled this ultimate guide on the pharmaceutical industry's top 10 firms based on the Forbes Fortune 500 ranking. The majority of pharma firms managed to improve their Fortune 500 rankings, with Celgene rising by 65 places.

Please note that the order follows that of the Fortune 500 rank.

 1 J&J

Rank 39
Previous Rank  37
Movement- -2
Revenues - $70,074(m)
Employees- 127,100

 First once again emerging first in the pharma industry ranking, J&J saw many successes over the past year, including its award winning efforts with the supply of an Ebola vaccine through Sierra Leone and joining the combat against the Zika Virus. This year saw the opening of JLabs in Toronto, a new 40,000-square-foot life sciences incubator, providing entrepreneurs shared lab space and offices, modular lab suites and access to scientific, industry and capital funding experts as they work to build important and successful early-stage companies. 

However, the pharma giant has encountered some complications, for example with a court case arising focusing on alleged side effects of Johnson’s baby powder. Also, media reports have noted that there may be a major restructuring in the firm to obtain cost savings, with expected net positions being eliminated from their global medical devices segment standing at around 3000.

 2. Pfizer

Rank 55
Previous Rank:56
Movement- +1
Revenues: $48,851(m)
Employees: 97,900

 Climbing one place in its Fortune 500 rank, Pfizer is reported to be providing 130 new jobs to manufacturing sites in Dublin and Cork. In Q3 of 2015, Pfizer finalised its acquisition of Hospira, Inc - a provider of injectable drugs and biosimilars. Additionally, following the termination of the potential Allergan merger, Pfizer announced that it is considering conducing strategic split in some form.

3 Merck (MSD outside of US and Canada)

Rank 72
Previous Rank  71
Movement - -1
Revenues $39,498(m)
Employees 68,000

Earlier this year, Merck (MSD outside of US and Canada) was reported to have paid US$20 million for an oncology drug produced by a team of scientists at Harvard. This is said to have been the highest upfront cash payment Harvard has ever received from a pharma licensing deal. In regards to the firm’s Ebola Zaire, V920 (rVSV∆G-ZEBOV-GP, live attenuated): the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted the vaccine candidate Breakthrough Therapy Designation, and the European Medicines Agency (EMA) has granted PRIME (PRIority MEdicines) status.

Also,  Merck KGaA owned Sigma-Aldrich is reported to add 100 new jobs to its St.Louis base. 

4. Gilead Sciences

Rank 86
Previous Rank- 118
Movement- +32
Revenues- $32,639 (m)
Employees 8,000

Making considerable progress on its ranking last year, Gilead Sciences has seen a number of wins recently, with the European Commission Grants Marketing Authorization for Gilead’s Epclusa®  also the firm has a a HIV-1 infection treatment in its pipeline. The firm saw year-on-year growth in total product sales in Q1 of 2016. Gilead’s product Sovaldi ranked 3rd  in the world’s top global pharmaceuticals in IMS’ ranking.

5. AbbVie

Rank 123
Previous Rank  146
Movement- 23+
Revenues $22,859 (m)
Employees 28,000

Humira, labelled as the world’s best selling drug for the past couple of years, has faced reports of potential competition this year as the US FDA accepted for review Amgen’s Biologics License Applicaiont for ABP 501- labeled as a biosimilar candidate for Humira. Abbvie has achieved a number of drug approvals from regulators and have recently announced its oncology clinical collaboration with Bristol Myers Squibb to assess the combination of Abbvie’s Rova-T and BMS’ Opdivo as a treatment for  relapsed extensive-stage small cell lung cancer.

6. Amgen

Rank 130
Previous Rank  145
Movement- +15
Revenues $21,662
Employees 17,900

Amgen’s Enbrel is estimated to come in 6th in the ranking of top global pharmaceutical products in 2020 by revenue, charted to have accumulated US$7 billion in revenue by 2020. A patent suit has been brought in regards to this product in Q1 of 2016.

7. Eli Lilly

Rank 141
Previous Rank  151
Movement- +10
Revenues $19,959 (m)
Employees 41,275

In the final quarter of 2015,  Eli Lilly and Merck’s extended their Immuno-oncology Collaboration  to evaluate the fusion of Lilly’s ALIMTA and Merck’s KEYTRUDA. The combination therapy is said to be in Phase III and is focused on first line nonsquamous non small cell lung cancer.

8. Bristol Myers Squibb

Rank 168
Previous Rank: 195
Movement- +27
Revenues $16,560
Employees: 25,000

Earlier in 2016, Bristol Myers Squibb signed an agreement to acquire the outstanding stock of Padlock – biotechnology company focused on the treatment of destructive autoimmune diseases. The deal is set to further strengthen the firm’s immunoscience pipeline. Also BMS completed acquisition of Cardioxyl Pharmaceuticals Inc.   The trade contains complete rights to Cardioxyl’s leading asset – CXL- 1427 – which is in phase 2 of clinical development positioned as treatment for acute decompensated heart failure.

9. Biogen

Rank 263
Previous Rank  298
Movement - +35
Revenues $10,764 (m)
Employees:  7,350

Last year Biogen was reported to have reduced its global workforce by around 800 people, in line with its corporate restructuring to focus its R&D pipeline which features Alzheimer disease candidates. Last month, Biogen’s investigational alzheimer’s disease treatment Aducanumab was accepted into European Medicines Agency’s PRIME Program.

10. Celgene

Rank 305
Previous Rank  369
Movement =  65+
Revenues $9,256 (m)
Employees 6,971

Celgene saw the most dramatic rise in ratings out of the Pharma Top 10 companies for 2016 - rising by 65 places. This firm was charted as the second fastest growing pharma company within the fortune 500 in 2015. Its cancer treatment Revlimid is attributed to be the engine behind this surge.  Also, Celgene has made a range of partnerships with small biotech companies.

In providing insight for job seekers in the pharma industry looking for their next opportunity, Tom Macfarlane noted: “Many job-seekers are inclined to focus on the larger multinationals, which they percieve to offer greater security and a greater potential for advancement. However these multinationals are doing an increasing amount of their research by partnering or backing smaller companies, including start-ups, with a view to acquiring them and their assets in the fullness of time. It can therefore makes sense to evaluate a potential employer based on their pipeline, rather than just their size.”


Pharma IQ
Posted: 07/26/2016

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