Covance mulls sacking 130 UK staff at ex Sanofi site; Opens 2nd cGMP pharmacy in US

By Gareth Macdonald

- Last updated on GMT

Jobs at risk at Covance's Alnwick site
Jobs at risk at Covance's Alnwick site

Related tags Clinical trial Drug development Pharmaceutical industry

Covance has warned 130 UK employees they could lose their jobs next month when a 5-year contract with Sanofi comes to an end.

The LabCorp-owned preclinical services firm told staff at its facility in Alnwick, Northumberland they could lose their jobs next month.

Covance bought the site from Sanofi in 2010​ in a deal that also saw it contracted to provide discovery, toxicology and chemistry services for five years.

While the end of this part of the agreement is a factor in the potential job losses, it is not the only factor according to a Covance spokeswoman who told us “slower recovery of the preclinical environment in Europe​” also played a part.

She stressed that nothing has yet been decided, explaining that: “We are still marketing the sites and that we will not make any decision about the future of the site until completion of the consultation process with employee representatives​.”

The acquisition of the Alnwick site was part of a 10-year “strategic alliance” with Sanofi that also saw Covance acquire a facility in Porcheville, France.

cGMP manufacturing

In other news, Covance has said it will open a cGMP compliant manufacturing pharmacy at its Phase I clinical trial site in Madison, Wisconsin.

The firm said that the new manufacturing laboratory would support clinical trials being conducted in Madison when operational early next month.

Herman Scholtz, Covance’s General Manager, Early Clinical Services, said: “These new drug development solutions demonstrate our commitment to providing innovative and differentiated solutions to streamline and enhance clinical trials​.”

The Madison manufacturing pharmacy is the second Covance has opened this year.

In July​ the firm relocated its clinical research unit in Dallas, Texas to a new 28 bed facility which – in addition to the clinical units – also houses pharmacy. 

Related topics Preclinical Research Preclinical

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