CMO Lonza lopping off hundreds of jobs

After months of regulatory woes and declining demand, Lonza is planning to cut two-thirds of its staff at a Massachusetts biologics plant, part of the CMO's overall effort to restructure and adapt to a changing market for commercial manufacturing.

Lonza plans to slash 200 jobs at its Hopkinton, MA, plant, half in September and the rest by year's end, the company told The Boston Globe. The company will do away with a total of 250 positions worldwide in 2013.

Last month, Lonza revealed its plan to gradually phase down production at the plant, moving away from a facility that received an FDA warning letter in 2011 and whose ongoing problems led to an interrupted supply of Ipsen's ($IPN) orphan drug Increlex, FiercePharmaManufacturing reports.

The Swiss company's broader restructuring led it to shut down a plant in Ireland earlier this year, and Lonza has plans to close a facility in St. Beauzire, France, in the fourth quarter. Once it has worked through those reductions, Lonza plans to consolidate its biologics manufacturing at a plant in Visp, Switzerland, the company said.

That cost-cutting has racked up $73.9 million in charges so far, but Lonza expects the cuts to save $107.1 million through 2016.

- read the Globe story
- check out FiercePharmaManufacturing's take