Which Medtech Firms Cut the Most Jobs in 2014?

Qmed Staff

August 10, 2015

3 Min Read
Which Medtech Firms Cut the Most Jobs in 2014?

While it would be logical to assume that the megamergers that medtech witnessed last year would result in significant layoffs, the biggest job cuts of 2014 were seen in the diagnostic device sector.

Qmed Staff

It is striking to look at the five medical technology firms with the biggest job cuts (as a percentage) in 2014: All of the companies in the list are involved in diagnostics. Meanwhile, the in vitro diagnostics industry continues to grow at a steady clip overall.

Below, we round up the five medical technology firms with the most layoffs last year, relying on data drawn the recent VantageEP report from Evaluate MedTech.

1. BG Medicine Cuts 70% of Its Staff

In the past year, BG Medicine (Waltham, MA) has cut the biggest percentage of its staff--70%, trimming its payroll from 23 to seven as it prepares to launch its automated IVD test for heart failure patients. The company's test detects galectin-3, which can help identify chronic heart failure patients who are at high risk of hospitalization or mortality.

2. Alere Hands Pink Slips to 44% of Its Staff

With roots stretching back to 1991, Alere had been one of the fastest growing IVD companies until recently. After selling its diabetes business to Johnson & Johnson in 2001, the company fueled much of its growth with a wave of acquisitions. In 2013, pressure from activist investors started a downsizing trend at the company, which began to sell of peripheral business units and focus on a limited number of tests. Last year, the company trimmed 44% of its staff after selling off its Alere Health services business unit for $600 million. Its newly minted CEO Namal Nawana pledged 2014 to cut $100 million in annual expenses by this year. In an article last year in the Boston Business Journal, Nawana hinted that the firm would sell off business units that aren't related to its core focus on tests for cardiometabolic disease, infectious disease, and toxicology.

3. Cytori Therapeutics Downsizes Nearly 40% of Its Workers

San Diego-based Cytori Therapeutics trimmed 38% of its workforce with the hope that the company would reach a break even point by the end of 2015. The company makes medical devices to support the therapeutic use of adult stem and regenerative cells.

4. Sequenom Trims 21% of Its Staff

Sequenom cut 21% of its payroll last year--122 people. The company had been an innovator in the field of noninvasive prenatal diagnostics, but has been cutting staff over the past couple of years to cut costs. In 2013, it terminated 75 employees or roughly 13% of its staff and in 2014, it cut an additional 21%. Last year though, the company swung a profit--partly because of cost reductions from the staff changes.

5. Chembio Cuts 19% of Its Workforce

Chembio Diagnostics (Medford, New York), which makes point-of-care rapid testing devices, laid off nearly 20% of its staff last year. According to a recent statement from the firm's CEO, the company's revenues in 2015 are slightly trailing those of 2014.

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