AMRI says the decision to close its second discovery services facility in a year and shift work to Asia reflects changing market demand.
The contract services firm announced the move last week, explaining that it will transfer discovery operations from its leased facility in Bothell, Washington to its site in Singapore and move structural analysis work to its laboratory in Albany, New York.
News of the closure - which will be completed by the end of March next year - comes just weeks after AMRI reported that revenue from its discovery services business fell five per cent in Q3 and eight months after it closed its discovery laboratory in Hungary .
Company VP Bruce Sargent told Outsourcing-pharma.com the move was prompted by “shifting market preferences related to the preferred co-localization of integrated drug-discovery activities and a shift to lower cost jurisdictions have created an opportunity for AMRI to improve the alignment of our integrated service offerings.
“Many of our customers around the world have expressed that the services offered at Bothell would fit better with their strategies if the services were co-located in Singapore, where they may already be doing related work or other projects with us,” he said.
Sargent cited AMRI’s customers in Japan as an example, which he said would benefit from being able to access biology and chemistry services in a location much closer to their central operations.
He also predicted that the Bothell closure would not be a negative for US and European customers for which AMRI conducts research at the site.
“We have already proactively reached out to customers with on-going projects in Bothell and the overwhelming response has been positive. We are committed to continuing some projects that need to run until the spring of this year, and have put in place transition strategies with our customers to start new projects in Singapore, or Albany, moving forward.”
Outsourcing-pharma.com also asked AMRI how the Bothell closure will affect the 24 staff the firm currently employs at the facility.
Sargent responded that: “The transition will open a number of opportunities at AMRI’s Singapore and Albany locations, which would be suitable for some employees interested in a transfer.”
And for those analytical services employees unwilling to make the 13,000km move to Singapore, there may be other jobs in the US according to Sargent who said that shifting work to Albany will create “opportunities for staff interested in transferring from Bothell or possibly for external hires.”