Emergent to axe 400 employees

Aug. 9, 2023

Emergent BioSolutions is refocusing its efforts by reducing investment in its CDMO business, letting go of roughly 400 employees in the process. 

According to the recently shared statement, the workforce reduction will save Emergent an estimated $19-21 million, and combined with other cost-saving measures, the company anticipates annual savings of over $100 million.

This shift will lead to operational cutbacks at the Baltimore Bayview facility.

At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Emergent’s Bayview facility was one of three designated facilities in the BARDA CIADM network — a pandemic preparedness undertaking by the U.S. government that came to life not long after the creation of BARDA. The Center for Innovation in Advanced Development and Manufacturing partnership was inked back in 2012, granting Emergent $163 million over eight years to build capacity that could accommodate rapid domestic production. The partnership was the driving force behind a 2017 expansion project, which doubled Bayview’s size to 112,000 square feet.

Emergent's COVID-19 pandemic efforts were marred by what became a very public vaccine batch failure in March of 2021. This was quickly followed by an FDA site inspection that triggered a 3-month shutdown, a congressional investigation, the termination of its government-backed AstraZeneca contract and an early end to its involvement with the CIADM program.

Now, as part of the cutbacks, operations will also be scaled down at the Rockville, Maryland drug product facility and the Canton, Massachusetts facility due to changing U.S. government medical countermeasure procurement. 

Emergent is also eliminating the position of COO, leading to the departure of Adam Havey by September of 2023. 

Emergent will focus on its core products — its over-the-counter Narcan nasal spray, and its anthrax vaccine, approved last month. Earlier this year, Emergent sold its travel health business along with two marketed travel vaccines and a phase 3 Chikungunya virus vaccine candidate to Bavarian Nordic for a potential total value of $380 million. The deal involved the transfer of Emergent's manufacturing site in Switzerland and development facilities in California, with approximately 280 of Emergent's employees expected to join Bavarian Nordic.