In August last year the company began assessing the "sustainability of operations" at its plant in Woods Corners in Norwich, New York, and as has now revealed that it is currently in contract negotiations with an undisclosed global biopharmaceutical company, which if successful, would see the firm contracting out some of the API work to the mystery firm, while moving the remainder to its facility in Mason, Ohio. If the deal goes ahead, the 55,000-square-foot technical centre at the Norwich site, which makes the APIs for a number of the company's drug products, will be mothballed over a period of two years. The plant is part of a 276,000-square-foot research and product development facility the firm has in Norwich. 180 staff at the site are facing eventual job losses, should the arrangement go ahead, although P&G has indicated that no decision will be made until autumn. The firm has also said that these employees will have the option to relocate elsewhere within the company. The outsourcing move is part of a cost-cutting measure for the global firm, and is also part of a larger external-partnering strategy that P&G has been implementing of late. The firm's website says: "We recently made the strategic decision to no longer conduct internal upstream pharmaceutical research to invent new therapies. Instead, we partner with leaders in the biotech and pharmaceutical industry to form mutually beneficial partnerships and develop/market new treatments." Companies that the firm is already now in collaboration with include Ablynx, ARYx Therapeutics, Nastech, Novartis, sanofi-aventis and Watson Laboratories.