Boehringer Ingelheim (BI) is to shut the doors on its Petersburg API facility at a cost of 240 jobs in response to changing manufacturing needs.
The closure of the Virginia, US facility - which makes active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) for BI's HIV, ADHD, and cardio-vascular drugs - was announced last week when the privately-owned, German pharma said it would cease manufacturing operations and mothball the plant in 2014 after failing to find a suitable buyer for the plant.
“The manufacturing needs of our network are changing, and the capabilities of this plant simply don’t match well with that need,” Boehringer Ingelheim (BI) spokesperson Rosalie Morton told in-Pharmatechnologist.com.
“Our manufacturing buildings are outfitted with vessels designed for large batch size production and our new drugs in pipeline are more targeted and many dosage requirements have been reduced to once daily, decreasing the quantities of active ingredients needed to manufacture them.”
The site has seen a number of investments and expansions in recent years, but signs of closure came in September 2012 when BI announced one of Petersburg’s three manufacturing buildings – Synthesis 1 - would be shuttered, affecting 80 to 100 employees.
Since then BI has explored selling the facility but has been unable to find a buyer. “It’s a great plant, just not what Boehringer Ingelheim needs going forward,” said Morton.
BI will begin to slow down production in December this year, concluding December 2014, and the shutdown will affect 240 jobs.
Morton said: “We have an incentive plan in place to encourage employees to stay, and we will be offering out-placement services and support for employees who wish to seek other employment.”
As for the firm's API manufacture policy going forward, Moreton told us BI was “already in the process of qualifying additional suppliers and plans to produce additional quantities of some products to supply the market for three or more years.”