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.
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.