British-based pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca says it is eliminating about 700 jobs in its U.S. commercial business, including about 120 at its North American headquarters in Wilmington.
The company said Thursday that the cuts also affect sales and non-sales positions across the United States, and include roughly 80 vacant positions.
The job cuts will leave AstraZeneca with about 1,500 employees in Delaware.
AstraZeneca, which once employed close to 5,000 workers in Delaware, announced in 2013 that it was cutting 1,200 jobs at its Wilmington headquarters.
In persuading AstraZeneca to select Wilmington over Pennsylvania as the site of its U.S. headquarters in 1999, then-Gov. Tom Carper offered the company about $50 million in state incentives, including 86 acres of state-owned land and tens of millions of dollars in tax credits.
"AstraZeneca’s announcement of layoffs to its Delaware headquarters is deeply disappointing," said Carper, now a U.S. senator. "As Governor I led a team effort to bring AstraZeneca and its good paying jobs to our state, which helped to generate economic activity and provide a better quality of life for thousands of Delawareans. While I am heartened by AstraZeneca’s commitment to keep its North American headquarters in Delaware and that Delaware will be spared the majority of these layoffs, too many of our neighbors and their families will bear the brunt of this news. It is our duty now to ensure these Delawareans land on their feet and find great opportunity in the face of this adversity. For years, AstraZeneca has been a good corporate citizen and major employer in our state. While this is a tough time for the company, I am hopeful it will gain solid footing and be able to grow and thrive with the new drugs in its pipeline."[[238427591, C]]