2021 | Business

UPDATED: Biopharmaceutical company laying off up to 99 employees in Rockville

Company says it must ‘shift its direction’

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Logo from BioReliance Twitter page

This story was updated at 6:55 p.m. on May 3, 2021, to include additional information from a company spokeswoman

BioReliance, a biopharmaceutical manufacturing and testing company, is laying off up to 99 employees at its Rockville facility by July, according to a worker dislocation notice.

BioReliance filed a notice of the layoffs on April 29 under the federal Worker Adjustment Retraining Notification (WARN) Act, which requires some employers to give advance notice of business closures and mass layoffs.

The layoffs are listed as part of a permanent closure not related to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the notice.

However, Jennifer Hunt, a spokeswoman for MilliporeSigma, BioReliance’s parent company, wrote in an email to Bethesda Beat that the company’s facilities aren’t closing and that the news about the layoffs “applies to a small testing group within our overall operations in Rockville.”

The layoffs have an effective date of July 2.

BioReliance stated in the WARN notice that the layoffs were due to “changing business needs.”

MilliporeSigma echoed those sentiments in a statement to Bethesda Beat on Monday, but gave few other details.

“MilliporeSigma, the life science business of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, continuously assesses all areas of the business to ensure we are meeting the needs of customers and the evolving industry. At times, we must shift our direction to take advantage of business opportunities or to address challenges, and best serve our customers,” the statement read.

Dan Schere can be reached at daniel.schere@bethesdamagazine.com