ONE of the region's biggest drug manufacturers has announced that it is to close its plant in north London after losing one of its major clients.
Aesica, which employs 760 people and is headquartered at the Quorum Business Park in Newcastle, said that it had spent a year looking for a suitable replacement at Ponders End, North London, but had failed in its attempts.
The site will close next year and will see most of its 50 staff out of work, while talks will begin to save a small number of the workers.
The company, which has a £100m turnover, said that the closure would not affect staff at its other sites, which include plants at Cramlington and Kent. The decision comes despite a period of growth in other parts of the business, with a new £3m facility planned at its site in Queenborough, Kent, which will package pharmaceuticals from next summer.
The company was formed in 2004 in a management buy-out backed by private equity firm LDC.
Dr Robert Hardy, chief executive of Aesica, said: “The contract we had at the North London site represented the vast majority of its operations, and as a result its loss has ended up with us making the decision to close the site.
“However, this is in no way a reflection on the health of the rest of the business and we are pushing ahead with a number of expansion plans.”