Eli Lilly closing Bridgewater site; 3,500 U.S. jobs affected in shakeup

Eli Lilly and Co. will close its Bridgewater facility as part of streamlining efforts expected to save about a half-billion dollars annually beginning next year.

The plan is to focus resources on developing new medicines and improving its cost structure.

About 3,500 positions will be affected companywide, although the amount of jobs lost in Bridgewater has not been disclosed.

“The Lilly Bridgewater site consists primarily of clinical and product development and biometrics roles,” said Lauren Zierke, adviser for Financial and Business Development Communications.

When asked how many employees are at that location and how many stand to be cut, she said that detail has not been released.

Some of the Bridgewater jobs will be relocated to either the New York or Branchburg sites, she said, while some will move to other Lilly facilities.

“Of course, employees may post for open roles within the company,” Zierke added. “In addition, and consistent with other parts of the business, eligible employees may apply for the voluntary early retirement program.”

That program was announced Sept. 7, and is expected to be mostly completed by Dec. 31.

The company may make further cost reductions, if necessary, including evaluating adjustments to the workforce.

“We have an abundance of opportunities — eight medicines launched in the past four years and the potential for two more by the end of next year,” said David A. Ricks, Lilly’s chairman and CEO. “To fully realize these opportunities and invest in the next generation of new medicines, we are taking action to streamline our organization and reduce our fixed costs around the world.”

The result will be “a leaner, more nimble global organization and will accelerate progress towards our long-term goals of growing revenue, expanding operating margins and sustaining the flow of life-changing medicines from our pipeline,” Ricks added.

“The commitment and perseverance of our people, who never give up on our mission of tackling hard-to-treat diseases, make up our legacy of more than 140 years,” Ricks said. “We will implement changes with fairness and the utmost respect for our Lilly colleagues, while we remain a vibrant, thriving competitor.”