Shire has yet to respond a story in the Financial Times that it is set to unveil a restructuring programme which will led to job losses in the UK.

The newspaper claims that the move could affect dozens of research jobs at its facilities in Basingstoke where 170 scientists are based. That division, where the company was founded over 30 years ago, employs 500 staff.

The FT says Shire is looking to shift its Swiss office from Nyon to Zug and a refocusing of US operations in the Boston area. The paper says that the firm is trimming its portfolio of experimental drugs and will cut back on pre-clinical research, except at its rare diseases unit. Shire has yet to respond to a request for comment.

Over 440 Novartis jobs could go

The Shire story follows Novartis' announcement earlier this week that it will initiate consultation on proposals to close its Horsham site in West Sussex, which will impact up to 371 roles.

In a statement sent to PharmaTimes, Novartis said the decision is the result of a review of research operations "and realignment of our other global R&D sites". Separately, the UK pharmaceuticals division based at Frimley, Surrey, will also withdraw marketing and sales support for its diabetes and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease products in the country.

All these products will still be available "with no change in supply or accessibility at this time", Novartis says, adding that "this may impact 72 associates, most of whom are field-based". The firm, noting that it currently employs over 3,000 people here, "will continue to be a major inward investor to the UK".