Sector News

Roche to close Irish site by next year, plans 132 layoffs: report

September 19, 2019
Life sciences

After successfully selling three small molecule manufacturing plants around the world, Roche was unable to find a buyer for a site in Clarecastle, Ireland. Now, it’s set to close up there and lay off 132 workers by next year, The Irish Times reports.

Roche is already in the process of a phased exit, and the drugmaker expects the process to conclude by March 2020, the newspaper reports. The company has set aside €24 million for the employees who are still working at the site, the newspaper reports, citing Roche Ireland documents. That means each worker could be in line for a €180,000 termination payment.

In 2015, Roche unveiled a massive shift of manufacturing priorities, setting out to downsize its small molecule manufacturing capacity and bolster its biologics presence. Before that, the drugmaker announced it’d spend €800 million to expand biologics capacity at sites in Germany, Switzerland and the U.S.

As part of the moves, Roche said it would cut 1,200 jobs and exit four small molecule sites around the world. Roche ultimately found buyers for its plants in the U.S., Italy and Spain, but couldn’t sell the Ireland site, and now it’s closing up shop.

The drugmaker sold its site in Spain to Recipharm, which won a long-term deal to supply Roche with solid-dose drugs and agreed to keep 200 workers at the facility. Roche used similar contract language to sell its other plants.

Roche’s bet on biologics has been paying off as the company holds a leadership position in cancer and other diseases. But it’ll face a new test as biosimilars to its three top cancer drugs hit the U.S. market, threatening $10 billion in sales. Roche executives believe the company’s newer medicines can fill the gap created by biosimilars and add some growth.

By Eric Sagonowsky

Source: Fierce Pharma

comments closed

Related News

May 21, 2022

As monkeypox cases emerge in US and Europe, Bavarian Nordic inks vaccine order

Life sciences

A monkeypox outbreak is emerging in the U.S. and Europe, and at least one country is amping up countermeasure preparedness. Bavarian Nordic has secured a contract with an unnamed European country to supply its smallpox vaccine, called Imvanex in Europe, in response to the emergence of monkeypox cases, the Danish company said Thursday.

May 21, 2022

Moderna chairman Afeyan defends hiring practices after CFO debacle: report

Life sciences

Moderna’s recent chief financial officer debacle—in which Jorge Gomez departed on his second day on the job—raised questions about the company’s hiring process given its rush to global biopharma prominence. The most obvious one: How was it possible for Gomez to be hired when he was under investigation by his previous employer, Dentsply Sirona of Charlotte, N.C.

May 21, 2022

Merck to pay up to $1.4B in cancer deal with Kelun, but details are scarce

Life sciences

Merck & Co. is plucking a cancer project from the branch of Chinese-based Kelun Pharmaceutical for up to $1.4 billion, but details from the New Jersey-based Big Pharma have been hard to come by. The deal, first disclosed Monday on the Shenzhen stock exchange, has Merck handing over $47 million in upfront cash in exchange for ex-China rights to a “macromolecular tumor project.”