* To dissolve Applied Science unit
* 110 jobs to be cut in Germany, 60 in the United States
* Says still committed to life-science business
* Backs full-year outlook
ZURICH, April 23 Swiss drugmaker Roche Holding
AG is cutting 170 jobs in Germany and the United States
in a reorganisation of its life sciences business to beat price
pressure and research funding cuts.
The firm said on Tuesday it would dissolve its Applied
Science business area, which makes up about 7 percent of sales
in its diagnostics unit, at the end of 2013 and integrate its
products into other parts of its diagnostics business.
The Basel-based firm also confirmed its outlook for
full-year sales growth in line with 2012 when they rose 7
percent, with core earnings rising ahead of revenues.
The reorganisation will lead to 110 job cuts at its site in
Penzburg, Germany and a loss of a further 60 positions at
Bradford, Connecticut in the United States.
The performance of Roche's diagnostics division, which made
up 22 percent of group revenue in 2012, has lagged behind the
larger pharmaceuticals unit. Applied Science sales fell 10
percent in the first quarter.
The drugmaker has forged ahead with personalised therapies
and is investing in the fast-growing field of gene-sequencing,
which will help to better predict which patients are likely to
respond to a particular drug.
But on Tuesday, Roche said it would end its partnership with
IBM to develop a nanopore-based sequencing platform due
to the high technical risks involved.
It has also decided to stop its project with DNA Electronics
to develop semiconductor-based sequencing system.
Roche plans to set up a dedicated unit to focus solely on
sequencing to explore external and internal opportunities.
Last year Roche walked away from a $6.8 billion hostile bid
for gene-sequencing market leader Illumina - which
makes machines that decode a person's genome, or genetic code -
after shareholders blocked its move to gain seats on the