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Roche exits four manufacturing sites with loss of 1,200 jobs

Closes three Europeans plants and one US facility
Roche

Roche has said it will close three European production plants and one US facility as part of a restructuring that will result in around 1,200 job losses.

The affected plants - at Clarecastle in Ireland, Leganes in Spain; Segrate in Italy and Florence in the US - are running well below capacity, according to Roche, which has indicated it will try to find buyers for them.

Around 240 of the jobs will go at the active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) facility at Clarecastle - which is Roche's only manufacturing facility in Ireland - with another 380 position at risk at the Segrate solid oral dosage form unit in Italy.

Around 270 staff at the US unit and 250 in Spain are also affected by the decision, according to local news reports.

All the affected units manufacture small-molecule drugs, which have seen their importance to Roche reduced as the company has invested heavily in biologic medicines development in recent years, spending around CHF 2bn on biomanufacturing capacity.

Moreover, many new small-molecule drugs are specialised medicines - such as targeted drugs for cancer - that only need to be made in small volumes and require different manufacturing processes, according to Daniel O'Day, Roche's chief operating officer.

Roche will also invest some CHF 300m in a dedicated facility in Kaiseraugst, Switzerland, that will be used for these low-volume small-molecule candidates.

O'Day said the company is "aware of the impact this decision has on our colleagues, and we will do our utmost to support them during this transition", which is expected to continue from 2016 to 2021.

Roche said in a statement it will open discussions with employee representatives in the affected countries and "conduct the consultation process in an open and socially responsible manner."

The company said it expects to book charges of around CHF 1.6bn over the course of the restructuring, with around CHF 800m in costs this year.

Article by
Phil Taylor

13th November 2015

From: PME

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