AstraZeneca said Wednesday it will cut 1,150 more jobs from leadership and sales positions around the United States.
The company trimmed about 400 jobs in early October, with most of those coming at its U.S. headquarters in Wilmington. About 70 of the 400 positions were vacant.
In April, AstraZeneca said about 550 scientists and support staff in Wilmington would be laid off by the end of 2011 because it was discontinuing work in several disease areas.
The latest round will affect fewer than 10 people in Delaware, according to a company spokesman.
The company said that Wednesday's batch of layoffs was distinct from earlier announcements and will account for roughly 24 percent of the company's sales organization in the United States.
The reductions in jobs will also vary by what the company calls "selling teams."
"These are difficult decisions that impact valued employees," Rich Fante, president of AstraZeneca U.S., said in a statement. "The changes we are making, however, will help us deliver better results for our business and, most importantly, continue delivering on our mission of patient health."
The company said certain employees would have the option to volunteer to leave and be counted among the 1,150, and all decisions will be final by early February.
AstraZeneca said in January 2010 that it was restructuring and would reduce its workforce by 10,400 positions by 2014.
In its statement Wednesday, the company said it will take a charge of between $50 million and $100 million in restructuring costs in the fourth quarter of 2011.
AstraZeneca was lured to Delaware from Chester County with financial incentives. A company spokesman said AstraZeneca has fulfilled its commitments under that agreement.
AstraZeneca had $33 billion in sales in 2010, including 10 medicines with sales of more than $1 billion each, but it is not exempt from the pressures afflicting the brand-name pharmaceutical industry.
Companies are expanding in emerging markets such as China, India, and Brazil. With the budgets of families and governments under duress in much of Europe and the United States, health-care costs are a place people look to spend less.
Lower-priced generic drugs make up about 70 percent of the market in this country. The April cutbacks included neuroscience researchers, effectively ending the search for a sequel to the company's antipsychotic drug Seroquel, which had $5.3 billion in sales in 2010.
That drug loses patent protection in 2016, so it will face generic competition.