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SkyePharma considering cuts at Muttenz; leases lab space to Aenova

By Gareth Macdonald , 10-Jan-2012
Last updated on 30-Jul-2012 at 17:29 GMT

Drug delivery tech firm SkyePharma has started reviewing operations at its facility in Muttenz, Switzerland in a move that could results in significant job cuts.

In a statement released today Skypharma said that the review – which could lead to a reduction of approximately 20% of its 101-strong workforce at the facility – it designed to generate cost savings of CHF2.6m (£1.8m) a year.

Skyepharma has also leased contract manufacturing organisation (CMO) Aenova lab space at the facility and has agreed to sell the German firm some surplus lab equipment.

Aenova – which leased SkyePharma’s tablet plant in Lyon in August - will use the space to expand its own oral product development activities and – according to SkyePharma - will consider offering positions to some of the employees who work at the plant.

Singer Capital Markets’ Shawn Manning said: “Today’s announcement constitutes an ongoing process of ‘improved housekeeping’, commencing in H2 2011 with the lease of the Lyon-based manufacturing plant to Aenova. As then, SkyePharma will benefit from optimisation of a formerly partially utilised asset.

Importantly, in the case of Muttenz, SkyePharma will be able to continue to offer potential development partners a full suite of oral drug delivery services, whilst benefitting from a significantly lower fixed cost base,” Manning continued, adding that the net impact will be to be a £2.0m reduction in annual operating costs, with approximately £1.6m of savings being realised over 2012.

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