Alexion to close Rhode Island Soliris plant and cut jobs

By Gareth Macdonald contact

- Last updated on GMT


Related tags: U.s. securities and exchange commission

Alexion will close its Rhode Island manufacturing facility as part of a cost cutting plan that will also see it reduce its workforce by 20% over the next year.

Alexion, which had 3,100 employees at the end of last year, announced the closure and job cut plan in a US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing yesterday​, explaining the move is designed to save $250m (€208m) a year.

A spokeswoman for the firm told us "The decision to close the site was driven by our need to optimize our multi-product manufacturing network strategy in line with our objective to have flexible, multi-product facilities that combine Alexion and contract manufacturing capacity. Since the Rhode Island facility is not optimally suited to accommodate our future pipeline, including ALXN1210, we have made the decision to close the site​."

Alexion has approximately 250 employees in Rhode Island. The spokeswoman said: "We recognize that these changes are difficult for our employees, and we will continue to work with Governor Raimondo and will support employees during this transition. Employees are eligible for severance as well as access to Career Transition Services and the Employee Assistance Program (EAP).​ 

"We will be focusing manufacturing at other company manufacturing facilities as well as through our manufacturing partners​" she said.

Alexion will also relocate its headquarters to a site in Boston, Massachusetts next year and convert its current base in New Haven, Connecticut into an R&D centre.

Facility history

The Smithfield, Rhode Island manufacturing facility makes the active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) for the immunosuppressant Soliris (eculizumab) as well as the finished product. It has been the subject of US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) criticism in recent years.

In 2013​ the agency issued Alexion with a warning letter after inspectors spotted a number of deviations from current good manufacturing practices (cGMP), including the detection of “residues in already-cleaned equipment​.”

The US agency reinspected the facility in 2014​ issuing Alexion with a second Form 483.

And in August​ last year Alexion was issued with another Form 483 detailing issues related to “completion and closure of certain investigations, validation of surface sampling methods and monitoring of water systems​.”

Related news

Show more

Related products

show more

Strategies to Achieve Successful Approval & Launch

Strategies to Achieve Successful Approval & Launch

Catalent Pharma Solutions | 03-Sep-2020 | Data Sheet

There are several key considerations to how companies should approach commercial-scale manufacturing that may aid the success of their biologic’s launch...

Lactium, your ally to manage day to day stress

Lactium, your ally to manage day to day stress

Ingredia | 27-Aug-2020 | Product Presentation

Stress has been called the ‘health epidemic of the 21st century’ by the World Health Organization. Increasingly, consumers are looking for safe, reliable...

Single-Pass Tangential Flow Filtration

Single-Pass Tangential Flow Filtration

BioContinuum™ Platform - MilliporeSigma | 01-Aug-2020 | Application Note

Tangential flow filtration (TFF) is widely used in the biopharmaceutical industry for downstream processing applications. Typical TFF steps concentrate...

Follow us


View more