Diagnostics firm bioMérieux has announced plans to shift activities at its facility in the Netherlands to France, shutting down the Dutch site as it continues to haemorrhage cash.
The firm announced the plans this week, with the transition of R&D and certain manufacturing activities to take place over the course of 2008/9 until the Boxtel site officially closes at the end of 2009.
No decision has been made on the future of the Dutch facilities, with the firm currently still considering its options.
The Boxtel site, situated on land 92,000m2 with buildings of 24,000m2, is currently used to manufacture products such as bioMérieux' NucliSENS, Vironostika and Hepanostika lines.
Molecular diagnostics R&D and manufacturing will now be transferred to the company's site in Grenoble, France, with microplate immunoassay R&D and raw material production shifted to facilities in Marcy l'Etoile.
The Grenoble site will also benefit from the construction of a new plant to accommodate manufacture of molecular diagnostics systems. While bioMérieux representatives were reluctant to speculate on the financial investment in the new plant or its future capacity, construction is due to be complete by the end of 2009, by the time the Boxtel site is closed down.
A company spokesperson could not comment on the possibility of expansion at the Marcy l'Etoile site.
"Despite efforts that have been undertaken, the [Boxtel] site is losing money - over €20m of operational losses cumulatively between 2004 and 2006 - and there are no prospects for this situation to improve," in-PharmaTechnologist.com was told.
"The Boxtel site…was inherited in 2001. Since that time the market for microplate-based immunoassays produced there has changed dramatically and become increasingly competitive."
"Boxtel is not suited to manufacture these products because of its high manufacturing costs relative to the low selling prices needed to remain competitive in these markets."
The are currently 287 employees at the Boxtel site, which will continue its manufacturing, quality control, R&D and customer support activities until the 2009 closure. The company does, however, intend to maintain its Netherlands subsidiary.