AMAG closing plant, moving to contract manufacturing

AMAG Pharmaceuticals ($AMAG), the beleaguered maker of anemia drugs, is moving to contract manufacturing and thereby closing a plant in Cambridge, MA, as it continues to get its financial house in order.

The Lexington, MA-based company says it will lay off 45 workers and hopes to sell the facility. AMAG says it will discontinue making its ferumoxsil product GastroMark and says that companies that sell the product in the U.S. and Europe will handle their own production. The move will lower the expenses of making ferumoxytol, which is marketed under the brand name Feraheme in the U.S.

The company says in a release that it will take a charge of about $2.6 million for the plant closing, but says the move will reduce its costs going forward. The plan will make the company more focused, says William Heiden, who was named president and CEO in May. 

 "Our corporate structure, both in terms of financial and human resources, is now being brought into alignment with our corporate strategy," Heiden says.

The company's former CEO, Brian Pereira, resigned last year and the company said it was going to ax a quarter of its workforce after its plan to buy Allos Therapeutics for $185 million and merge the two companies was blocked by shareholders. About 50 positions were targeted in that move. The company has said it is exploring its options, including a sale.

- here's the release