Roche’s complex on Route 3 — the drug maker’s former U.S. headquarters, and the birthplace of Valium, Librium and interferon — has been there since 1929.
Roche will cease operations at its facility, which is 60 percent in Clifton and 40 percent in Nutley, by the end of 2013, completely shutting the site by the end of 2015.
About 1,000 full-time employees will lose their jobs at the Nutley facility, and 1,000 contractors and part-time workers will be let go, as well. At one point, Roche had 5,000 employees on that campus. Next year Roche plans to open a clinical research center at an undisclosed location on the East Coast that will have 240 employees, with workers from the Nutley facility being offered those jobs.
The shutdown is more evidence that New Jersey — once called the medicine chest of the nation — has lost ground in the pharmaceuticals sector, which has long been one of the state’s key economic engines. In 1990, the Garden State had 20 percent of the nation’s pharmaceutical jobs; now it has 11.8 percent, or 32,803 jobs, and is second in pharmaceutical employment to California.