Novartis has announced plans to shed some 500 positions in the U.K. through an operational restructuring of its site in Horsham, West Sussex, England, according to PharmaTimes.
Currently, about 950 staff work at the Horsham campus, and that will fall to around 400 over the next two years. Novartis noted that of the workforce, about 330 are dedicated to respiratory research, which will remain in Horsham.
However, Basel, Switzerland-based Novartis said to "further align with global priorities," the gastrointestinal research teams at Horsham will be co-located with teams in Basel and Cambridge over one to two years, while Novartis U.K.'s over-the-counter operations will also move.
Novartis will maintain its major manufacturing sites in Grimsby, Liverpool and Dundee. The company said, "we are collaborating with the government on a number of valuable initiatives to promote life sciences research in the U.K., including Clinical Research Networks, the Academic Health Science Centres and the Therapeutic Capability Clusters."
As for the 500 jobs being lost, Novartis said proposals are currently under consultation and it could not give a final impact on staff numbers. Nevertheless, some observers see the plans as a blow to pharma in the U.K., especially after Pfizer's decision to close its R&D facility in Sandwich, Kent, cutting up to 2,400 jobs.