Novartis cuts 275 jobs at Illinois site to consolidate Zolgensma manufacturing in North Carolina
As Novartis continues to reshape itself, the company is shutting the doors to one of its gene therapy manufacturing sites in the US.
The closure of a site in Libertyville, IL, a city to the northeast of Chicago, follows a “comprehensive manufacturing site network evaluation,” the company said in a statement to Endpoints News.
The decision will cause 275 jobs to be axed, but the site is expected to remain operational through the end of next year, with some activities stopping earlier as others will take time to complete. The company will offer 90-day notifications to workers along with severance packages, outplacement support and other benefits.
Aa Novartis spokesperson added:
Operations to make, test and release Zolgensma will be consolidated to the Durham, North Carolina facility, which also currently produces Zolgensma. Gene therapies and advanced platforms are still 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, show that we can meet current and anticipated global demand for Zolgensma and future gene therapies through a single site.
This is not the only move that Novartis is making in terms of trimming down its sites and staff. The Swiss pharma will cut around 400 jobs at its campus in Dublin by the end of 2024 as part of wider cuts that are a part of a major restructuring that the company kicked off in April.
Also, as Novartis is planning to spin out Sandoz in the near future, the generic company shuttered an oral solid dosage plant in Wilson, NC, which made tablets and capsules for Canada and the US and employed about 246 people.
Sandoz is also investing €50 million ($50.3 million) into increasing its manufacturing capacity for finished doses of penicillin in Europe at its site in Kundl, Austria. This will come on the backs of a €100 million investment into new technology to produce ingredients for oral amoxicillin at the Kundl site.
“Antibiotics remain the backbone of modern medicine and we are seeing rapidly increasing demand following the unprecedented market swings of the past few years. This investment will help to meet that growing patient need, to support the creation of hundreds of new jobs, and to partially offset the impact of high energy prices by lowering unit costs,” said Sandoz CEO Richard Saynor, in a statement.
This comes as a shortage of amoxicillin has been reported by Sandoz and several other manufacturers, with the company stating it is seeing an increase in demand for the drug.