AMRI plans to shutter an R&D shop to save cash

Former Teva exec William Marth is the new CEO of AMRI
AMRI CEO William Marth

Contract drug developer AMRI ($AMRI) will close down its Syracuse, NY, facility by midyear, part of an effort to cut costs and realign its business.

The Syracuse site focuses on discovery and development services, and AMRI plans to transfer its capabilities to other facilities in the U.S., U.K. and India. The CRO plans to wrap up its closure by the end of June, looking to save about $1.5 million a year after it takes a charge of up to $6.5 million tied to the move.

AMRI didn't disclose how many jobs will be affected but said it's still working out a final transition plan, expecting no interruption to any current projects.

"The decision we have made, while difficult for our colleagues in Syracuse, reflects the continued evolution of AMRI's business to better align our operations to most efficiently support our customer needs, while preserving the skills and capabilities that our customers demand as they return to greater utilization of their outsourcing partners," CEO William Marth said.

That evolution includes an increased focus on manufacturing, in which AMRI has been investing over the past few years. Last month, the CRO bought contract manufacturer Cedarburg Pharmaceuticals for $41 million, capping a long-term plan to wean itself off royalty revenue and double down on its fastest-growing business.

Last year, thanks largely to its booming large-scale manufacturing segment, AMRI pulled in $246.6 million in revenue, a 9% increase over 2012, with net income coming in at $12.7 million to beat out the prior year's $3.8 million loss. For 2014, the company is expecting revenue growth between 10% and 14%.

- read the announcement

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