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November 10, 2022

Sunovion to lay off 30% of its workforce

Photo | Grant Welker Sunovion's Marlborough headquarters

Sunovion Pharmaceuticals of Marlborough issued a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, advising the company would be laying off 360 employees, effective Jan. 13.

Sunovion is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sumitomo Pharma Co. Ltd. of Osaka, Japan. According to data submitted by the company to the WBJ Research Department, it employs 500 people at its Marlborough location. The company also has facilities in New Jersey and Ontario.

Sunovion employs over 1,200 employees, according to the company’s website.

The company specializes in medications such as Latuda, to treat schizophrenia and bipolar depression; Kynmobi to treat Parkinson’s disease, and Aptiom to treat epilepsy.

According to Sumitomo Pharma’s Nov. 1 investors meeting presentation, the company has experienced an impairment loss related to Kynmobi of approximately $406 million. Sunovion obtained Kynmobi when it acquired the Cynapsus Therapeutics of Toronto in 2016 for $624 million.

Sales of Kynmobi have been poor and the company announced it would discontinue the promotion of the drug in the U.S. and that it was preparing to streamline resources and redirect efforts towards prioritized assets in the portfolio.

It is not confirmed if this was a factor in the layoffs.

Sunovion provided the following statement: “The adaptation of our workforce is designed to reflect both the external healthcare landscape and Sunovion’s evolving commercial portfolio. We continue to deploy our talent and resources to best meet the needs of customers, patients and our organization.

“Employees and field staff who report to managers in Massachusetts and managers located across the country were included in the reductions in force. Sunovion continues to have a strong presence in the U.S. market and remains committed to our global headquarters location in Marlborough, Massachusetts,” the company said in its statement.

Sunovion purchased its 192,000 square-foot headquarters at 84 Waterford Drive in Marlborough in 2002 for $35 million, according to the Middlesex South Registry of Deeds.

The WARN Act is a federal regulation to help protect workers by requiring employers to provide notification 60 calendar days in advance of plant closings and mass layoffs.

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