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Catalent's Swindon cuts are result of decline in Zydis demand

By Natalie Morrison , 21-Nov-2012
Last updated the 21-Nov-2012 at 14:37 GMT

Catalent will cut 45 staff from its Swindon facility after customers reduce Zydis order volumes.

Catalent told Outsourcing-pharma.com a “reduced customer forecast” for pills based on Zydis orally-disintegrating tablet technology was behind the decrease in production.

Christopher Halling, strategic marketing manager in Europe said: “We’ve had a volume change in the Zydis product line and has to reduce it.

“Our drug delivery technologies are used in a number of customer products and this reduction is because of reduced customer forecast.  The technology itself remains profitable though.”

Halling was unable to disclose exact details of the reasons for the“volume change” due to client confidentiality reasons. 

He added that discussions with employees are on-going, but that members of operational staff and support services will be among those to go.

In the past, demand for Zydis products has been cited as an important driver for Catalent’s business in recent financial results: see Q3Q4  and in particular Q2  in which the technology was branded a “standout performer.”

Future of Swindon

The firm maintains that Swindon will continue to be an important plant for the overall business. Halling added: “long term the plant has an important role to play in Catalent’s network.”

When asked if any equipment would become redundant as a result of the cuts, and whether the pharma provider will sell off any of its apparatus or even consider outsourcing its use to other firms, Halling it will remain in the business.

“The tablets themselves and the production from Swindon is made on very expensive equipment. I don’t foresee a sale of that equipment, or outsourcing its use to other companies,” he said. “We aren’t selling anything on; we’re a long way from that.”

We also asked if the decline in production was a bid to focus more on upcoming expansions and collaborations in other areas of the business – including recent partnerships with South Korean firm CTC bio , and one with Parexel .

Halling replied: “No, they are in no way related to expansions in other sides of the business. This is purely about meeting customer demand in the next 12 months and the resources needed to do that.

“As for other expansions, we will continue to deliver products and technologies and will collaborate with other facilities and partners all over the world.”

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