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Roche to Close NimbleGen Site, Lay Off 79 by Mid-2020

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Roche Molecular Systems plans to close its Roche Sequencing Solutions facility in Madison, Wisconsin — the former NimbleGen — over the next two years and lay off all 79 employees.

In a statement, the company said it plans to implement "a new operational structure" and shift activities to the San Francisco Bay area or other Roche sites.

According to a notification filed earlier this week with the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development, Roche plans to start the layoffs Dec. 31 of this year and complete them by June 30, 2020.

Specifically, four staff members will be terminated by the end of this year, 45 by the end of 2019, and 30 in 2020. Most of the layoffs will affect scientists, technicians, and engineers.

Roche said in a statement that the Madison facility will remain operational for two years and that some of its employees will be offered to relocate to other Roche sites in the San Francisco Bay Area and elsewhere. In addition, Roche "will work with employees to find opportunities outside the company."

According to Roche's website, the Madison site has been focusing on research and manufacturing of target enrichment probes for DNA sequencing.

The site has seen layoffs before: In 2012, Roche shuttered its NimbleGen microarray business in order to focus on sequencing target enrichment products, which resulted in the layoff of 44 out of 100 employees in Madison.

Roche acquired NimbleGen Systems in 2007 for $272.5 million. NimbleGen was founded in 1999, based on maskless array synthesis technology developed at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.