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Roche to Close N.J. Research Labs, Cut 1,000 Jobs

Closed sign (Artaxerxes, Wikimedia Commons)

(Artaxerxes, Wikimedia Commons)

The pharmaceutical company Roche, based in Switzerland, says it will close its research labs in Nutley New Jersey, resulting in the loss of 1,000 jobs. The company also says it plans to open a new, but smaller, translational research support facility on the east coast of the U.S. next year.

The company says the company-wide consolidation of research labs — which includes R&D facilities in Basel and Schlieren, Switzerland and Penzberg, Germany — is part of its plan to shift emphasis from early drug development to clinical stage studies. Roche CEO Severin Schwan notes that in the past 18 months, 24 out of the company’s 28 late-stage clinical trials delivered positive results, adding the “consolidation of our research and early development organization and the refocusing of R&D activities in Switzerland and Germany will free up resources that we can invest in these promising clinical programs while also increasing our overall efficiency.”

Roche says the consolidation will not affect its overall 2012 financial outlook. The company did not indicate the extent of one-time costs required for the consolidation or other financial impacts, which it plans to reveal in its next quarterly financial report on 26 July.

Roche says it will open a Translational Research Clinical Center in a so-far unidentified East Coast U.S. location in 2013. That facility is expected to support the company’s clinical trials in the U.S., interactions with the Food and Drug Administration, and collaborations between Roche and biotech companies and academic institutions. The new center is expected employ some 240 employees.

The Roche Group employs some 20,800 employees in the U.S., many of whom work for its Genentech subsidiary in South San Francisco, California. The consolidation is not expected to affect Genentech.

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