In April Azopharma quietly closed its doors. As news of the development began to emerge Outsourcing-Pharma wrote a brief article to cover what was known so far. Since then more details have come to light, Azopharma equipment has been auctioned and research animals rehomed.
In third quarter results both Covance and Charles River Laboratories (CRL) revealed plans to close facilities in Quebec and Virginia, leading to lay offs of 200 and 300 staff respectively. Both companies planned to move operations to other sites in response to lower demand.
CRL began and ended the year by proposing site exits, continuing the cost-cutting it began in 2009. In January the company said it was stopping preclinical operations at a site in Massachusetts, US, at a cost of 300 jobs, because of low demand.
Earlier this month CRL proposed the sale of a US Phase I site and a preclinical unit in China. Some investors would like to see CRL go even further and consider selling or splitting the business.
The fate of remaining MDS Pharma Services’ units was confirmed when Ricerca Biosciences bought preclinical and discovery sites and private investors acquired early stage facilities.
However, MDS Montreal, Canada site was excluded from either deal and closed. This, coupled to redundancies at early stage sites, led to 225 job losses. A further 50 employees, mainly from finance, IT and human resources, also lost their jobs and MDS headquarters closed.
Kendle outlined plans to cut jobs in February after delays and cancellations impacted on financials. Furthermore, Kendle was concerned about “continued volatility” in the market and in response initiated cuts expected to save $18m (€14m) in 2010.
It is feasible Kendle could begin 2011 with plans for further cutbacks. In its fourth quarter conference call, due in February 2011, Kendle will discuss findings of its early stage review. This will establish fair value and consider all options, from complete exit to refocusing.