Gaithersburg-based Emergent BioSolutions is closings its Maryland manufacturing plants and laying off about 300 employees.

Emergent, which was supposed to be a key player in the nation’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, will close its Baltimore-Bayview Drug Substance manufacturing facility and its Rockville Drug Product facility, the company said Wednesday.

In addition to the layoffs, the company will eliminate about 85 currently vacant positions. Last year, Emergent BioSolutions laid off about 230 workers in Maryland.

The moves “are about the future of Emergent,” said CEO Joe Papa in a statement.

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The company estimated that the restructuring will cost up to $21 million this year and save the company about $80 million annually. In a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Emergent said most of those initial costs will be related to severance and benefits.

Emergent’s stock price jumped following news of the layoffs, hitting a high of around $4.70 on Thursday. In August 2020, shares traded for more than $130.

The plan to close the facilities and lay off workers was announced alongside its first-quarter earnings, in which Emergent said it had $300.4 million in revenue and $9 million in net income.

The company’s best-known product is Narcan (naloxone), a nasal spray used to treat opioid overdoses. Narcan received over-the-counter designation in 2023.

Emergent BioSolutions also makes vaccines, including for anthrax and smallpox, which it sells to the United States government. Revenues for both anthrax and smallpox vaccines were up in the first three months of 2024 compared to the previous year, the company said.

Cody Boteler is a reporter on The Banner’s Express Desk, reporting on breaking news, trending stories and interesting things in and around Baltimore. His work has appeared in The Baltimore Sun, USA TODAY, Baltimore magazine and others.

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