Bristol Myers-Squibb to Move Out of Connecticut


New York-based Bristol-Myers Squibb has announced plans to shut down several of its facilities, including one in Wallingford, according to a news release.

The company, which employs about 700 people in Wallingford, also scrapped plans to build a new development site in Connecticut.

This all comes as part of an announcement about the future of the bio-pharmaceutical company. Last summer the company had announced they were moving research and development operations out of Connecticut, but stopped short of saying they would no longer have a presence in the state.

Gov. Dannel Malloy said that while he's not pleased with the company's decision, it might be a sign of the times.

"This announcement is more of an iteration of what they had previously announced with respect to consolidation to other facilities. A lot of that has taken place and we’re going to be on the winning side of some of that and we’re going to be on the losing side of some of that. On the other hand of that, what’s gratifying to see if the growth of the overall industry in Connecticut," Malloy said.

Malloy said that over the last year the state had been in talks with the company to try to keep some jobs in Connecticut, but those talks were unsuccessful.

Bristol-Myers Squibb will also close a facility in Hopewell, N.J. by mid-2020 and it will not renew its lease at a plant in Seattle, Washington in 2019.

The company said it intends to transition many impacted employees to other U.S. locations around the company. However, the company did not say how many Connecticut employees would be impacted or if anyone would be laid off.

In October 2015, Bristol-Myers Squibb announced 78 layoffs in Wallingford between Dec. 31, 2015 and March 1, 2016.

The company said the changes are part of a larger plan to change its geographic footprint and that it intends to build up facilities in central New Jersey, the San Francisco Bay Area and Cambridge, Mass.

“These important changes to our U.S. geographic footprint will ensure we have the structural, operational and financial flexibility to deliver as effectively as possible on our mission for patients,” said Giovanni Caforio, M.D, chief executive officer, Bristol-Myers Squibb, in a release Tuesday. “Today’s announcement underscores our commitment to make the right investments to continue to deliver on the promise of our pipeline and to bring transformational medicines to patients, today and in the future.”

Bristol Myers-Squibb said the Wallingford facility will close by the end of 2018.

Wallingford businesses are concerned about what this will mean for them. 

"It's going to impact our business like any other business," Stefano Panno, of Half Moon on North Main Streetm said. "I am sure it's going to impact lots of families. Those incomes are very important."

Residents are concerned about taxes increasing.

"The impact on the toen is not going to be good," John Dichello said. "Taxes are going to go up. It's not good."

After a career in research at Yale, Wallingford resident Roberta Clouet said it's time for Wallingford to think about its next big thing, whether it is enticing tech companies or something else no one has thought of yet.  

"It will give Wallingford an opportunity to rethink its next venture," she said.

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