Orion shifts R&D focus to cancer and pain drugs, axes 32 employees

May 9, 2022

Orion is the latest biotech to finalize an organizational restructuring that has resulted in employee cuts.

The Finnish biotech revealed back in March that it would be stepping away from its focus on neurodegenerative, rare diseases and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease treatments, looking to prioritize cancer and pain drugs moving forward. It has now been announced that the changes have been made.

The change in direction doesn’t come as a surprise, as Orion also announced earlier this month that it was partnering with Chinese company Jemincare to develop and bring to market a treatment for acute and chronic pain. The 32 employees that will be let go are positions that will become redundant because of this agreement.

Orion added that the refocus of its research and drug development won’t be affecting the current portfolio and products on the market. The biotech will keep manufacturing and selling its drugs, as well as continue investing in its pulmonary drugs.

Leading the shift is a drug developed in partnership with Bayer and approved by the FDA in 2019 — Nubeqa, a prostate cancer treatment. The company is also developing other prostate cancer drugs.