Roche Plans to Exit Four Sites, Cut Jobs at Cost of $1.6 Billion

Roche Holding AG plans to exit four manufacturing sites and pare some jobs in a restructuring program that will cost about 1.6 billion francs ($1.6 billion) over the next five years.

About 1,200 employee positions will be affected, the Basel, Switzerland-based company said in a statement on Thursday. The drugmaker plans to look to divest the sites in Ireland, Spain, Italy and the U.S. to curb job losses. About 600 million francs of the restructuring costs will be in cash, it said.

New drugs based on small molecules will require more specialized manufacturing facilities and will be produced in smaller quantities, Roche said. The company plans to invest 300 million francs to build up such operations in Kaiseraugst, Switzerland, and has invested more than 2 billion francs in its biologics manufacturing capacity over the past two years.

“We are responding to the evolution of our small molecule portfolio towards specialized medicines produced in lower volumes,” Daniel O’Day, chief operating officer of the pharmaceuticals division of Roche, said in the statement.

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