Ian Anderson 6 p.m., March 7
Biogen Idec Whacks Idec, Its San Diego Wing
Massachusetts-based biotech Biogen Idec today (Nov. 3) severed Idec, its San Diego operation. The two companies merged in 2003. Biogen Idec is under pressure from billionaire corporate raider Carl Icahn, who has three of his cronies on the company's board. Idec was one of San Diego's few strong biotech successes, having pioneered Rituxan, a top-sellig drug for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and rheumatoid arthritis. Biogen Idec will close the San Diego facility and shift the U.S. sales and marketing of Rituxan to another company. According to the North County Times, there are 327 employees in San Diego. Most will be out the door Jan. 10 and 25% will be offered the opportunity to go to the Cambridge headquarters or the Research Triangle in North Carolina. This is a big blow for San Diego's economy.