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14 March 2012, 12:40
The French drugs company Sanofi has announced its Fawdon plant will be shut down by 2015 - with the loss of more than 400 jobs.
The company's now entering a 90 day consultation period with staff and the Unite Union.
Sanofi's blamed the closure on the growing use of low-cost generic drugs and the European economic downturn.
A company statement said:
"Under the proposal the plant, which makes solid dose oral medications mainly for UK and European markets, would be scheduled to close by mid-2015.
"The proposal is being considered in the context of an adverse economic climate and the challenging pharmaceutical market in Europe.
"The products manufactured at the Fawdon site have been adversely impacted by other factors, including generic competition, resulting in a fall in demand and production volumes."