Pharmaceutical company Novartis Gene Therapies plans to lay off about 275 employees when it shutters its manufacturing facility in Libertyville.
The Bannockburn-headquartered company, which is part of Switzerland-based Novartis, said in a statement it plans to consolidate manufacturing of gene therapy medication Zolgensma at its North Carolina manufacturing facility. It plans to fully wind down operations at the Libertyville plant by the end of 2023.
“Following a comprehensive manufacturing site network evaluation, Novartis has made the difficult decision to cease operations at the gene therapies manufacturing facility in Libertyville, Illinois,” the company said in the statement.
The company said it recently conducted an assessment and found it can meet current and anticipated demand for Zolgensma and future gene therapies at a single manufacturing site. The company cited “clarified demand expectations” and the ability to produce more Zolgensma through improved processes as reasons it no longer needs two manufacturing plants.
Zolgensma treats spinal muscular atrophy, a rare genetic disease that can lead to muscle weakness, paralysis and even death in young children. When it was approved in 2019, it gained attention for being the most expensive medication ever approved at that time.