It was reported yesterday that Swiss pharmaceutical firm Novartis intends to dramatically cut back operations at its Horsham campus. This could lead to the loss of 550 jobs from the 950 Novartis FTEs that work at the site. Apologies for the lack of primary source, but the news has made it on to the BBC website, so it must be true (!)
It is proposed that pharmaceutical manufacturing operations will close in Horsham, along with the partial closure of the global development site there. This is anticipated to take place over a 2-year period. It has been recommended that the gastro-intestinal research team be moved to Basel and Cambridge, and Over The Counter operations to (or near to) Frimley.
The respiratory research group – with 330 FTEs – and support functions will remain at the site. The company will also maintain its manufacturing facilities in Grimsby, Liverpool and Dundee.
According to the 2010 R&D Scoreboard - published by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills - Novartis Pharmaceuticals had the 10th highest UK R&D investment of 129 pharma and biotech companies in 2009/10, at £90m. This is in the same league as Amgen and Eli Lilly (~£130m each), but some way behind Pfizer (4th, at £326m) and GSK and AZ (1st at £3.6bn and 2nd at £2.7bn). Of all companies investing in R&D in the UK, they were ranked 47.*
*Caveats and definitions can be found in the BIS report