Actavis Shutters Unit Following Watson Takeover R&D Double-Up

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Actavis Shutters Unit Following Watson Takeover R&D Double-Up
Following an analysis of its global R&D business Actavis says it will close its Maltese R&D unit at a cost of 60 jobs.

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 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.

Related topics: Bio Developments