GSK will create 300 new production jobs in France despite R&D pull out

GSK in France: 'Oui' to manufacturing, 'non' to R&D

By Dan Stanton

- Last updated on GMT

GSK closing R&D site 20km south of Paris
GSK closing R&D site 20km south of Paris

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GSK is selling a French R&D site as part of a global restructuring move but says it will continue growing its manufacturing presence in the country.

As part of a three-year plan to save the firm £1bn ($1.5bn) annually announced last year​, GSK is consolidating its R&D network by concentrating its operations into two global centres – Philadelphia in the US and Stevenage in the UK – that will be supported by a number of smaller ‘satellite’ sites.

GSK is therefore putting up for sale a facility in Les Ulis, France – about 20km south of Paris.

“We’ve been looking around the world where we have our additional, smaller R&D facilities,”​ a spokesman from the Big Pharma firm told this publication. “The Les Ulis site has not been selected to be one of GSK’s future R&D satellite sites,” ​he added.

“This choice does not question the scientific skills and the quality of the work carried out on the Les Ulis site. It reflects the nature of the work there – flexible chemistry that crosses our organisation – which we think can be done at our two global hubs.”

There are around 60 staff members at the facility and GSK is searching for a buyer in order to continue operations at this site.

“Our priority is to search for pharmaceutical organisations to acquire the site and its operations, preserving employment whenever possible.”

300 nouveaux emplois

Despite the exit, GSK remains committed to France and in-Pharmatechnologist was told the UK-headquartered company would invest in its manufacturing presence in the country.

“We anticipate creating around a further 300 skilled jobs across our three industrial sites in the country during 2015-2016.”

The firm has an inhalation dosage plant in Evreux, an oral dosage site in Mayenne, and a vaccine facility in Saint-Amand-les-Eaux.

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