As Novartis continues to reshape, the company is closing one of its gene therapy manufacturing sites in the United States.
The closure of a site in Libertyville, IL, a city northeast of Chicago, follows a “comprehensive assessment of the network of manufacturing sites,” the company said in a statement to Terminal news.
The decision will result in the loss of 275 jobs, but the site is expected to remain operational until the end of next year, with some activities stopping sooner as others will take time to complete. The company will offer 90-day notices to workers along with severance, outplacement assistance and other benefits.
A Novartis spokesperson added:
Zolgensma’s manufacturing, testing and launch operations will be consolidated at the Durham, North Carolina facility, which also currently produces Zolgensma. Gene therapies and advanced platforms are expected to play an increasingly important role in the years and decades to come at Novartis. However, our most recent network assessment, along with clarified demand expectations and higher yields through process improvements, shows that we can meet current and projected global demand for Zolgensma and future gene therapies via a single site.
This is not the only decision made by Novartis in terms of reducing its sites and its personnel. The Swiss pharmaceutical industry will cut around 400 jobs at its Dublin campus by the end of 2024 as part of wider cuts that are part of a major restructuring the company launched in April.
Additionally, while Novartis recently created Sandoz, the generic company closed a solid oral dosage plant in Wilson, North Carolina, which manufactured tablets and capsules for Canada and the United States and employed approximately 246 people.
Sandoz is also investing 50 million euros ($50.3 million) to increase its capacity to manufacture finished doses of penicillin in Europe at its site in Kundl, Austria. This will come on the back of a €100 million investment in new technology to produce ingredients for oral amoxicillin at the Kundl site.
“Antibiotics remain the backbone of modern medicine and we are seeing a rapid increase in demand following unprecedented market fluctuations in recent years. This investment will help meet this growing patient need, support the creation of hundreds of new jobs, and partially offset the impact of high energy prices by reducing unit costs,” said Sandoz CEO Richard Saynor, in a statement.
It comes as a shortage of amoxicillin has been reported by Sandoz and several other manufacturers, with the company saying it is seeing an increase in demand for the drug.