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Restructuring Roche to cut 350 IT jobs

Exterior view of the Roche Tower (Roche Bau 1), the headquarters of the pharmaceutical company Hoffmann-La Roche in Basel

(Keystone)

Swiss pharmaceutical giant Roche is set to cut 350 IT jobs by the end of 2017, it has confirmed.

A spokesman told Reuters that 100 posts would be cut in Switzerland and another 100 in the United States, confirming a report by the Basler Zeitung newspaper. The remainder of the job cuts would be spread across several other countries, mostly in Europe.

At the same time, the Basel-based firm plans to add 300 jobs at its shared services centres, which include Madrid, Budapest, Warsaw and Kuala Lumpur. Roche employs around 91,000 people in over 100 countries, according to its annual report.

Roche recorded strong figures in the first three months of this year beating forecasts. Sales at the world's biggest maker of cancer drugs rose 4% to CHF12.4 billion ($12.87 billion).

Sales of its "big three" cancer medicines - Herceptin, Avastin and Rituxan that together account for more than a third of revenue - continued to climb.

The pharma giant aims to launch eight new medicines in the next three years as it seeks to mitigate a wave of patent expirations that will leave it vulnerable to biosimilar products starting in 2017. 

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