Novo Holdings’ Xellia to lay off 80 workers at Ohio plant once run by Boehringer Ingelheim

After wrapping up a $200 million renovation at a former Boehringer Ingelheim plant near Cleveland, Ohio, several years back, Danish specialty drugmaker Xellia Pharmaceuticals is paring back its workforce in The Forest City.

From Feb. 5 through Feb. 19, 2024, Xellia plans to lay off roughly 80 employees at the facility, according to a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) alert (PDF) sent to the Ohio Department of Job & Family Services.

All affected workers have been told their expected separation dates, Xellia said in its letter. The separations are expected to be permanent.

Xellia is axing a wide range of roles, from talent acquisition advisers and aseptic operators to data analysts, facility supervisors and quality specialists.

The company did not immediately respond to Fierce Pharma’s request for comment on the round of job cuts.

Xellia, which specializes in producing drug ingredients and finished dosage forms (FDFs) for anti-infectives, is owned by Novo Holdings, which also owns Danish pharma major Novo Nordisk. Apart from its Cleveland plant, Xellia operates production sites in Denmark, Hungary and China.

The Cleveland plant where Xellia is conducting next year’s layoffs has a storied history.

Formerly owned by Boehringer Ingelheim, the German company previously closed the plant in 2013 and laid off more than 1,000 workers there after a federal consent decree made the prospect of revamping the facility too pricey. Sterility lapses had prompted dozens of recalls at the facility, too.

Then, Xellia swooped in to buy the plant in 2015, at which point the site had to be “extensively rebuilt” for around $200 million, a Xellia spokesperson previously told Fierce Pharma.

In August 2021, Xellia announced the Cleveland factory was once again commercially operational and had released the first anti-infectives made there for distribution to U.S. hospitals. At the time, the company said it had enlisted some 300 employees to staff the Cleveland site.