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Novartis to lay off 275 workers in Libertyville

Pharmaceutical company Novartis Gene Therapies plans to lay off about 275 employees when it closes its manufacturing facility in Libertyville.

The Bannockburn-headquartered company, which is part of Switzerland-based Novartis, said in a statement that it plans to consolidate production of gene therapy drug Zolgensma at its North Carolina plant. It plans to completely wind down operations at the Libertyville plant by the end of 2023.

“After a comprehensive evaluation of its network of manufacturing sites, Novartis has made the difficult decision to cease operations at its gene therapy manufacturing facility in Libertyville, Illinois,” the company said in a statement.

The company said it recently conducted an assessment and found it could meet current and anticipated demand for Zolgensma and future gene therapies at a single manufacturing site. The company cites “refined demand expectations” and the ability to produce more Zolgensma with improved processes as reasons it no longer needs two plants.

Zolgensma treats spinal muscular atrophy, a rare genetic disease that can cause muscle weakness, paralysis and even death in young children. When it was approved in 2019, it attracted attention for being the most expensive drug ever approved at the time.


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