Abbott and Pfizer shed jobs as Gilead plans growth

By Gareth Macdonald

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Little island Manufacturing Mass production Pfizer’s periodic round-up of employment developments in the pharmaceutical manufacturing industry includes news on Abbott, Pfizer, Gilead and Clarcor.

Abbott to cut 1,000 medical testing jobs

Healthcare major Abbott Laboratories is to cut 1,000 manufacturing jobs over the next few years as part of an ongoing effort to streamline global operations.

Abbott, which confirmed the plans in a form 8-K filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, said that it expects to achieve savings of $150m by closing its manufacturing factory in Pasadena and making some redundancies at plants in Santa Clara, California and Lake Forest, Illinois.

Company spokeswoman Melissa Brotz said that only 100 jobs will be eliminated this year in an interview with the Associated Press. She added that the firm will be transferring some of the manufacturing jobs to facilities in Ireland.

Abbott had not responded to in-PharmaTechnologist’s questions at the time of going to press.

Pfizer confirms Little Island closure

US drug giant Pfizer has confirmed that it is to close its facility in Little Island, Ireland with the loss of 180 manufacturing positions, after it failed to find a buyer for the active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) plant.

Pfizer’s move has intensified media speculation about its other operations in the country, in particular the manufacturing facility in Loughbeg, Ringaskiddy, for which the firm is also seeking a buyer.

Tara Delaney, a spokesperson for Pfizer Ireland, told in-PharmaTechnologist that the Little Island roles “will be phased out between October 2008 and the end of the 2009 year​.”

Delaney went on to says that: “We are currently recruiting for our new biologics facility [in Shanbally] and colleagues have an opportunity to apply for these roles. There are however different skill sets required for the new bio plant compared to traditional API manufacture​.”

She added that: “We are continuing to actively market Loughbeg, but given commercial sensitivities we are not in a position to go into much further detail, other than to say we have had a number of interested parties and are involved in ongoing dialogue as we seek to sell the facility as a going concern.”

We have some time yet to sell Loughbeg and will investigate every opportunity. If we are unsuccessful we would need to close the plant by the end of 2009/early 2010​,” Delaney added.

Gilead to add 1,900 jobs over next 10 years

US biotechnology firm Gilead is to double R&D capacity at its base in Foster City, California over the next ten years.

The extensive plans, which will create around 1,900 new jobs, will add laboratory, manufacturing and pilot plant space at the site. Construction is expected to begin early in 2009 when an environmental impact study, which is due to start next month, is completed.

Gilead said that the expansion is part of its efforts to broaden its product portfolio, which is currently focussed on anti-virals for the treatment of HIV and hepatitis B.

Clarcor to create 425 jobs at Jeffersonville plant

Clarcor Air Filtration Products says it will create 425 new manufacturing jobs as it moves to consolidate its production operations at a new 450,000 square foot facility in Jeffersonville, Indiana.

The firm, which makes industrial air filters for the laboratory and pharmaceutical sectors among others, has spent $8.5m to acquire the lease for the plant, which is located in the city’s River Ridge commerce centre.

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