FARGO — Altasciences, which performs clinical and preclinical research studies in the U.S. and Canada for biopharmaceutical firms, is closing up operations at its south Fargo office due to a slowdown in the clinical research industry, a spokeswoman confirmed Wednesday, July 31.
Company employees were informed of the decision on July 16, human resources business partner Molly Klein said.
The company, headquartered in Laval in Quebec, Canada, has 85 to 90 employees in Fargo, Klein said. However, that number includes some workers who do their jobs remotely who won’t be affected by the closing of the Fargo campus at 4837 Amber Valley Parkway.
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Altasciences has been assisting employees in seeking jobs either in the company or within the industry. Some Fargo employees will be able to transfer to the Altasciences offices in Kansas City, Seattle, Montreal or Laval, or may be able to work for the company remotely, she said.
A slowdown in research in the biopharmaceutical industry is causing studies to be put on hold or rescheduled, Klein said.
“I think it is the clinical research as a whole that has been slowing down,” Klein said. “It is in the industry itself that the problems are being caused.”
Klein said the Fargo site’s most recent quarter was a good one. However, it is the smallest of the company’s sites, and the decision was made to close it.
“Our CEO struggled telling us this was going to be a thing,” Klein said.
Layoffs are planned in three phases as the last of the work for Fargo studies is wrapped up, Klein said. Layoffs will take place on Friday, Aug. 2, Aug. 16 and Sept. 13, the last day for essential staff.
The firm used to be named Algorithme Pharma USA.
“It’s a good group here. It’s a good group of people. It was a decent place to work. So, yeah, it’s a little hard, but people are finding their way, which is good,” Klein said.