Drug manufacturer to exit Florence plant employing about 300 - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Drug manufacturer to exit Florence plant employing about 300

Roche Florence site Roche Florence site

FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) – A pharmaceutical plant in Florence is one of four around the world Roche is transitioning, putting almost 300 jobs at risk. The company plans to minimize job loss by seeking out a site buyer.

Florence site President, Phil Admamon says he is optimistic because this change has nothing to do with the performance of the employees at the Florence site. He says this is strictly a corporate decision based on a product shift in specialized medicines from large volume molecules to small molecules.

“That’s why we are optimistic that we can find a buyer, because we have great people here, great capabilities, a lot of experience producing these types of products, and our priority is to keep the plant going, that’s my number one priority," says Adamson.

In a news release, Roche, the world’s largest biotech company, announced plans to exit from four manufacturing sites across the globe, including the site in Florence. The Switzerland-based company stated they are seeking to minimize job reductions, and will be looking into divestment opportunities for these facilities.

“With these changes we are responding to the evolution of our small molecule portfolio towards specialized medicines produced in lower volumes,” says Daniel O’Day, Chief Operating Officer, Pharmaceuticals Division of Roche. “We are aware of the impact this decision has on our colleagues, and we will do our utmost to support them during this transition.”

Roche employees plan to work with Florence County Economic Development staff to do this. Mary Kelley, Membership & Industry Relations Manager for FCED says this will be a gradual process, and they plan to do their best to seek out site tenants. “With a strong and already knowledgeable workforce and a wonderful site that has a great building and wonderful facilities there. We are hoping this will give us the time to bring in a company to that will be more than happy to pick up where Roche is leaving off," said Kelley.

Adamson assured his employees all day today there are no layoffs and the site will not close immediately. He says, “What was committed today to the employees was, Roche as a company will actively pursue a buyer through the second quarter of 2016, so for sure nothing will change until then."

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