Workers at the site on the island of Malta discovered last week that they would lose their jobs as Actavis closes down a number of R&D facilities in a global restructure in the wake of the Group’s takeover by Watson Pharmaceuticals last year.
Charlie Mayr, Global Chief Communications Officer at Actavis told in-Pharmatechnologist.com that though the closure of the R& D site “is subject to consultation” it “follows an extensive analysis of [Actavis’] Global Research and Development (R&D) activities and projects in the pipeline.”
Watson purchased Actavis in October for an estimated €4.25bn ($5.5bn) and, as part of the deal, Mayr said there was “a number of overlaps in new product development projects.” The company has been identifying cross-over units and consolidating its solid oral dosage R&D and thus arrived at the decision to shutter the Malta unit.
Actavis, incorporating Arrow Group which they purchased in 2009, has two facilities in Malta but “the proposal does not impact the manufacturing facilities or Sales & Marketing function” which, according to Mayr, employs approximately 1,000 people.
The generics company, who officially changed its name to Actavis in January, said it did not intend to pull out of R&D. Speaking in a press statement, Actavis President and CEO Paul Bisaro stressed the firm’s “commitment to funding R&D at levels sufficient to generate a robust and diversified development pipeline encompassing generics, brands and biosimilars.”
However, according to the Malta Times, this R&D closure comes within a week of another unit being shuttered by Actavis and with a US R&D unit being closed in December it is the third to be closed following the takeover by Watson.