Roche announces closure of Nutley, NJ site
Business operations to cease by end of 2013; site plant to be shut down by end of 2015
NUTLEY, NJ – June 26, 2012 -- Roche (SIX: RO, ROG; OTCQX: RHHBY) has decided to close its operations in Nutley, New Jersey by the end of 2013 as part of an effort to refocus its Pharma global research portfolio and support efficient allocation of resources for the company’s expanding product development pipeline.
Closing the Nutley site will result in a reduction of approximately 1,000 positions among Roche employees. Discovery research activities are to be consolidated in Basel and Schlieren (Switzerland) and Penzberg (Germany). The Roche Group will continue to employ 20,800 individuals in the United States, including 400 in New Jersey. “We recognize the significant impact that this decision will have on our people and Roche is committed to doing everything it can to seek socially responsible solutions for them as well as the communities of Nutley and Clifton,” said Tom Lyon, Nutley Site Head. ”Therefore, our employees will be advised of the transitional processes over the next 18 months and provided with a range of support options and services to assist them during the transition.”
Roche will no longer conduct laboratory research on the US East Coast, but intends to identify a location in the region to establish a Translational Clinical Research Center. The Center will support Roche US-based clinical trials and early development programs, support and maintain Roche interactions with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and enhance Roche’s collaborations with US-based partners, such as academic institutions and biotech companies. The plan is for the Center to be operational by early January 2013. Roche will transfer approximately 240 positions, mostly from Nutley, to this Center. The company will announce the criteria for site selection at a future date.
“The decision to close Nutley has been a difficult choice for Roche and is based on multiple factors,” said Lyon. “We currently host three research areas; however, the company has decided to close the Inflammation Discovery and Translational Area (DTA) unit within the Roche R&D organization and consolidate the Oncology and Virology DTAs to other sites where there will be synergies and economies of scale.”
“Nutley’s legacy and footprint as a much larger former regional headquarters and manufacturing site left us with an expensive and oversized infrastructure,” added Lyon. “While we have made notable progress to cut costs by more than 50 percent in the past two and a half years, it was not enough. As a result of the global consolidation within R&D, which includes eliminating the Inflammation DTA and consolidating Oncology and Virology DTAs to other locations, Nutley will no longer have a critical mass of employees or functions that would allow us to remain a viable part of the Roche organization.”
Nutley has been part of Roche’s history for more than 80 years. At the onset of World War II, the company moved its top management to Nutley. The site contributed to Roche success for many years, including historical achievements such as Valium and benzodiazepines, the co-promotion of Zantac and the Roche Institute of Molecular Biology, which spawned interferon. The site also played a key role in the early development of Zelboraf® (vemurafenib) for the treatment of metastatic melanoma.
Roche will cease business operations at the site by the end of 2013 and will shut down the site by the end of 2015. Before being sold, Roche will work with the Nutley and Clifton townships as well as required authorities to obtain all necessary environmental certifications.
Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Roche is a leader in research-focused healthcare with combined strengths in pharmaceuticals and diagnostics. Roche is the world’s largest biotech company with truly differentiated medicines in oncology, virology, inflammation, metabolism and CNS. Roche is also the world leader in in-vitro diagnostics, tissue-based cancer diagnostics and a pioneer in diabetes management. Roche’s personalized healthcare strategy aims at providing medicines and diagnostic tools that enable tangible improvements in the health, quality of life and survival of patients. In 2011, Roche had over 80,000 employees worldwide and invested over 8 billion Swiss francs ($9 billion US) in R&D. The Group posted sales of 42.5 billion Swiss francs ($47.8 billion US). Genentech, United States, is a wholly owned member of the Roche Group. Roche has a majority stake in Chugai Pharmaceutical, Japan. For more information: www.roche.com.
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Darien E. Wilson
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