A major pharmaceutical company announced changes it would be making to its corporate structure in order to streamline operations and cut costs.

Eli Lilly will cut about 3,500 positions from its global workforce in a move the company expects could yield annualized savings of an approximate $500 million starting next year.

"We have an abundance of opportunities—eight medicines launched in the past four years and the potential for two more by the end of next year," said Eli Lilly’s chairman and CEO David A. Ricks, in a statement. "To fully realize these opportunities and invest in the next generation of new medicines, we are taking action to streamline our organization and reduce our fixed costs around the world."

The drug-maker expects most of these cuts to come from a voluntary early-retirement program being offered in the United States. Also, the company will shift production from its animal health manufacturing facility in Iowa to another location. Closing research and development offices in New Jersey and China will also be part of the strategy.

"The actions we are announcing today will result in a leaner, more nimble global organization and will accelerate progress towards our long-term goals of growing revenue, expanding operating margins and sustaining the flow of life-changing medicines from our pipeline,” elaborated Ricks.

Eli Lilly has encountered development difficulties with certain drugs over the past few months.

A promising Alzheimer’s drug missed goals in a late stage study forcing the company to shutter the program. The pharmaceutical firm also revealed in July it anticipated an extended delay for regulatory approval regarding its rheumatoid arthritis drug baricitinib.

However, the company has two promising treatments under development—a migraine treatment and a possible breast cancer therapy, according to Reuters.

Overall, these total cuts come out to about 8 percent of Eli Lilly’s workforce.