Aenova will sub-let part of the laboratory space and consider offering jobs to some affected staff
SkyePharma plans to cut its workforce of 101 people in Muttenz by 20% with the aim of improving competitiveness and generating CHF2.6m (£1.8m) of operating cost savings each year.
Separately, the Group has entered into agreements with the Aenova Group to sub-let part of the laboratory space in Muttenz and sell some of the surplus laboratory equipment to the German manufacturer of solid oral dosage forms.
Aenova plans to use the space to expand its own non-competing oral product development activities and has agreed to consider offering positions to some of the SkyePharma staff affected by the job cuts.
SkyePharma says the changes will not affect relationships with existing or potential customers and the Group will continue to provide its full range of innovative oral and inhalation drug delivery solutions.
The firm intends to make greater use of third-party sub-contracting for certain aspects of the oral product development process and Aenova has agreed to be a sub-contractor for this purpose. There will be no transfer or disposal of any business, technology or intellectual property to Aenova and Aenova’s oral product development activities do not directly compete with those of SkyePharma.
In August 2011, SkyePharma leased its pharmaceutical manufacturing business and premises at Saint Quentin-Fallavier, Lyon, France, to the Aenova Group for an initial period of two years, extendable for a further three years.
The new agreements between SkyePharma and Aenova in Switzerland have reinforced the links between the companies and could lead to collaborative development opportunities.
SkyePharma's chief executive, Axel Müller, said: ‘The alliance announced last year with Aenova provided an important opportunity to increase the utilisation of our Lyon facility, generate rental income and enable SkyePharma to focus on its core business of developing drug delivery solutions for the global pharmaceutical industry.
‘The additional agreements will enable SkyePharma to operate in Muttenz with lower fixed costs while continuing to offer clients the full range of our innovative services and solutions.’