Affymetrix to outsource jobs to Singapore

By Kirsty Barnes

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Molecular biology

Microarray expert Affymetrix has started outsourcing some of its
jobs in the US to Singapore.

The West Sacramento-based firm plans to move most of its genetic test manufacturing to Singapore by the end of the year, where it has an existing facility, and first announced its intention to do so in a the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) report posted in February.

In a statement, the company wrote: "We are adjusting our resources as we shift a larger percentage of out array production to Singapore.

This action enables us to further increase operational efficiencies and remain more competitive in the marketplace".

The number of jobs at risk remains undisclosed by Affymetrix, however it was reported in a local media outlet that the company has already made 23 people redundant and plans a similar number of layoffs in two more rounds of job cuts.

The company did confirm that its logistics, instrument and reagent manufacturing and clinical services laboratory will not be impacted by the outsourcing move, with these operations continuing to be located in West Sacramento.

Singapore has established itself as a popular destination for pharma and biopharmaceutical firms in terms of manufacturing, boasting a number of top companies on it shores, who are lured by its Asia-Pacific proximity, lower cost base compared to the west, and reputation for high quality output.

Affymetrix has been through a difficult period of late, during which it suffered from increased competition in the microarray field pushing down product prices.

In December last year the firm agreed to acquire USB Corporation for $75m to gain access to its line of molecular biology and biochemical reagents, that it believes will accelerate the development and commercialisation of new gene analysis tools and systems while also increasing the value of its product portfolio.

USB had three major product 'groupings' that consist of biochemical reagents, molecular biology enzymes and kits, and products used in membrane protein research.

"The integration of USB's biochemical reagents with Affymetrix' current and future products will greatly accelerate our ability to develop and commercialise more complete customer solutions," said Kevin King, president of Affymetrix at the time of the announcement.

"USB is a recognised leader in the life sciences industry with strong brand equity and established manufacturing capabilities.

This acquisition is a strategic fit for Affymetrix' growth strategy and we expect it to be modestly accretive to our 2008 earnings per share, before anticipated charges relating to the transaction."

Related topics Preclinical Research Preclinical

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