Janssen laying off 4 dozen employees as California plant heads toward closure

Janssen Psoriasis The Inside Story
Janssen, which is more focused on immunology, is closing out a plant in California. (Janssen)

Johnson & Johnson picked up a plant in Vacaville, California, nearly 20 years ago with its $10.5 billion buyout of Alza, a deal that also gave it attention-deficit disorder drug Concerta and cancer drug Doxil. Janssen is now focused in other areas and has decided the plant is no longer needed.

Nearly 50 employees are slated to be let go next week, according to a California WARN notice (PDF), as J&J's pharmaceutical unit Janssen begins a three-year phaseout, a spokesman said in an email. The company declined to say how many total employees work there. 

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J&J says the closure is part of an effort to rework its manufacturing network as its drug portfolio changes.

“As part of this transformation, we will scale down production at our Vacaville, California facility with the intent to fully exit the site by the end of 2022,” J&J spokesman Matthew Johnson said.  

Janssen, like other drugmakers, is putting more effort into areas such as immunology that involve biologic drugs. In the fourth quarter, sales of its Stelara worldwide grew by 33.6% on the back of its launch in Crohn’s disease, while psoriasis drug Tremfya has nabbed a 6.6% share of an ultracompetitive U.S. market since its July 2017 debut.

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