Novartis AG Announces Phase 3 Layoffs At Diovan Plant In New York

Published: Dec 12, 2014

Novartis AG Announces Phase 3 Layoffs At Diovan Plant In New York
December 11, 2014
By Krystle Vermes, BioSpace.com Breaking News Staff

Swiss drugmaker Novartis said this week that it would be laying off 22 employees beginning on March 31 at its Suffern complex in New York, according to The Journal News.

In January, the company originally announced that it would be eliminating or transferring 525 at the plant, with plans to eventually demolish the building itself. However, Novartis has not set a firm date in 2016 to close the plant, eliminate the building and sell the property. Cushman and Wakefield of New Jersey is responsible for marketing the 162-acre property.

The Closure at Suffern
The announcement of the Suffern plant closure came in January 2014, and at the time, Novartis was in the process of trying to market new products, according to Bloomberg. Novartis stated that some of the employees may eventually be transferred to other locations.

“Changes in our current portfolio, namely the loss of exclusivity of Diovan, have significantly reduced the future production demand on the Suffern site,” Novartis said in the statement, according to the news source. “The site’s future volumes would be significantly below the minimum required to operate it cost effectively.”

Growth Through 2014
Despite the announcement of the plant closure and layoffs, Novartis has remained on track through third quarter in terms of its growth. The company announced back in October that it had delivered solid sales growth in third quarter and had achieved strong margin expansion. Net sales were up 4 percent in the quarter, while growth products grew by 21 percent.

Strong emerging markets including China, Brazil and Russia also helped Novartis reach its goals for the quarter.

“Retaining a good balance between investment in the business, a strong capital structure and attractive shareholder returns will remain a priority in the future,” Novartis said in a statement. “Strong cash flows and a sound capital structure have allowed Novartis to focus on driving innovation, growth and productivity across its diversified healthcare portfolio, while keeping its double-A credit rating as a reflection of financial strength and discipline.”

Novartis was also helped by the landmark trial of LCZ696, which was shown to cut cardiovascular deaths by 20 percent compared to standard care. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration Advisory Committee also recommended approval of AIN457 for psoriasis.

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