By RICK SMITH, Local Tech Wire Editor

DURHAM, N.C. – (Nasdaq: GILD) is closing its facility in Durham.

The company confirmed to Local Tech Wire and on Thursday that the pharmaceutical firm will shutter its Triangle operation as part of a restructuring.

Some 150 people work at the site.

“Gilead is planning to close its Durham facility at the end of the year,” Amy Flood, vice president of public affairs for the California-based company, said.

“The decision was a difficult one, as is any decision involving our employees,” she added.

The employees have been notified, Flood explained, and most will be leaving the company.

“Yes, we are offering relocation to some employees – about 20 percent,” Flood said. “All other employees who do not remain with Gilead will be transitioning over time.”

Flood said the company’s decision came after a “thorough review of Gilead’s antiviral development programs and an assessment of the optimal structure that we believe will best support our work in the future.”

Gilead, which employs some 4,000 people in the U.S., earlier this year decided to halt a clinical trial for a proposed hepatitis drug.

However, Flood said the trial decision was not the reason for the closure in Durham.

The Durham facility is Gilead’s center for hepatitis B and C clinical development research.

Gilead acquired Triangle Pharmaceuticals, an earlier pioneer in HIV drug research, in 2003.

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