Monday, January 26, 2009

Biotage Closes VA Factory, Transfers Production

By The Daily Progress Staff
Published: January 23, 2009

A Sweden-based firm that makes products for the pharmaceutical industry will move its Albemarle County production line to Cardiff, Wales, taking 50 local jobs with it.

Biotage announced Thursday that it would start transferring its production overseas in stages. The move is slated to be finished by the fourth quarter.

The company’s president and chief executive officer, Torben J├Ârgensen, said in a news release that the move would streamline production, letting the company “achieve considerable efficiency gains and reduce susceptibility to changes in demand.”

The Cardiff factory produces most of Biotage’s products.

The local Biotage facility, in the University of Virginia’s North Fork Research Park, manufactures filters used to purify drugs for the pharmaceutical industry. About six years ago, the company was based in Charlottesville and about 10 percent of Biotage’s employees were UVa graduates.

Michael E. Harvey, executive director of the Thomas Jefferson Partnership for Economic Development, said the departure came as no surprise.

“In downturns, the first thing to really start feeling the effects of it is manufacturing,” Harvey said. “Nobody is immune from what is going on right now.”

Harvey is a proponent of bringing more technology jobs to the Charlottesville area, although he said that any technology company that has a manufacturing component will be affected when the economy falters.

Biotage has 300 employees worldwide.

From the Charlottesville Daily Progress

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