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Gaithersburg, Maryland-based Emergent BioSolutions, which received FDA approval earlier this year for an over-the-counter version of the opioid overdose drug Narcan, is eliminating 400 jobs.

Gaithersburg, Maryland-based Emergent BioSolutions, which received FDA approval earlier this year for an over-the-counter version of the opioid overdose drug Narcan, is eliminating 400 jobs — more than 15% of its workforce.

The company is also shifting away from its contract development and manufacturing to focus on core products, including Narcan, which is currently the only FDA-approved nasal spray over-the-counter version of naloxone.

The job cuts are at Emergent’s Bayview facility in Baltimore, at its drug production facility in Rockville, as well as another facility in Canton, Massachusetts.

Emergent is also eliminating its chief operating officer position. COO Adam Havey will leave the company at the end of September.

The company said the workforce reductions, and a reduction in investment in its contract manufacturing business, will result in annual savings of more than $100 million.

For years, Emergent has supplied the federal government’s national stockpile of vaccines and drugs for threats including anthrax, smallpox and Ebola.

“We remain committed to partnering with the U.S. and allied governments to help address public health threats, while also successfully increasing accesses to Narcan nasal spray as an over-the-counter treatment to help address America’s opioid overdose epidemic and give people in crisis a second chance,” said Paul Williams, senior vice president of products.

Emergent is currently searching for a new chief executive officer. Its previous CEO, Robert Kramer, Sr., retired in June.

Emergent’s decision to de-emphasize manufacturing followed highly-publicized problems in 2021 and 2022 with vaccine production errors that ultimately led to the destruction of hundreds of millions of doses of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine, which Emergent was under contract to produce.

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