BETWEEN 90 and 100 jobs could be lost at research giant Huntingdon Life Sciences.

The Alconbury-based firm, which has a global presence in the market, has announced that as a consequence of the continuing downturn in outsourced pharmaceutical development it is holding a consultation process with staff that may result in redundancies for 6 per cent of its employees.

Two-thirds of the job losses would be made from the Huntingdon facility, with the remainder shed from the site at Eye in Suffolk.

Around half the job losses are anticipated to come from voluntary redundancies

HLS said the move is a result of a downturn in the research and development activities of the pharmaceutical industry, which accounts for 80 per cent of the company's business. Most of the jobs are anticipated to be lost in areas that test the safety of new drugs and effect staff across the board, including scientists and managers.

Managing director Brian Cass said: "Over the years our staff have been incredibly supportive of the company, previously taking pay cuts to help save jobs, but this continued downturn in our business means we have no choice but to consider this action. This is a difficult time for everyone, and even more difficult for those who may have to lose their jobs. We have tried to ensure we have supported all our people during this process and hope we have treated them with dignity and respect."