Job losses at Hull firm 18 months after opening amid legal battle with rival

By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 13 Mar 2019

Job losses have been confirmed at a £23m Hull research centre, less than 18 months after it opened.

Indivior unveiled its state-of-the-art facility in Henry Boot Way in August 2017.  The centre is focused on research and innovation into drugs which can help people battle opioid addiction and schizophrenia.

Indivior has however been locked in a legal dispute with rival firm, Dr Reddy’s Laboratories, over its sale of a similar product called Suboxone in the US.

An employee at the Hull facility said job losses had been made in recent months, and described the site as “a ghost town.”

Indivior has now confirmed a series of redundancies have been made, but said it remained committed to the site.

An employee, who did not want to be named, said: “At its peak there were about 80 of us working here in Hull.

Inside the laboratory facility

“The problems have come about through a rival product which has come to the market and is threatening to undercut us.

“At least 30 people have lost their jobs. My job is safe for now, but a lot of people don’t know what is going to happen next.”

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Indivior has been battling with its rival, Dr Reddy’s, over a product used to treat opioid addiction.  Last July, a judge in America shut down Dr Reddy’s sale of the drug due to a patent case which had been filed by Indivior.

Indivior argued that Dr Reddy’s product would case “immediate, severe and irreversible” harm if it was allowed on the market.

Pictured, from left, Jake Berry MP, Dr Chris Chapleo, Elizabeth Burton Phillips from DrugFAM, Christian Heidbreder and Shaun Thaxter

Last month however, a US court ruled the rival firm could resume selling its product.

The announcement came as a bitter blow to Indivior.  A spokesman at Indivior said: “Indivior remains committed to our mission to pioneer life-transforming treatments for patients suffering with opioid addiction and schizophrenia.

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“In recent months we have unfortunately had to reduce the number of roles across the company, including in Hull, but our commitment to our mission remains unchanged and we look forward to returning to growth in the future as we focus on serving patients globally.”

The Suboxone product Indivior is fighting to protect accounted for almost all of the company’s $1bn sales last year.

Watch: Indivior's £23m facility in Hull

Indivior recently said it was unable to provide a financial guidance for 2019, due to uncertainty in its Suboxone market.

Shaun Thaxter, CEO at Indivior, said: “As we enter financial year 2019, we assume we face the imminent “at-risk” launch of generic rivals to SUBOXONE® Film in the U.S.

“We have prudently prepared for this event, planning and taking the required actions to help ensure we can deliver on our strategic priorities despite the pressures that generic competition to SUBOXONE® Film will bring.”

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