French pharmaceutical company Sanofi on Wednesday said that it planned to shut a drug-manufacturing plant in Britain that currently employs about 450 staff. Plans to close the Fawdon Manufacturing Centre in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, northeastern England, by mid-2015 comes amid "an adverse economic climate and the challenging pharmaceutical market in Europe," Sanofi said in a statement. "The products manufactured at the Fawdon site have been adversely impacted by other factors, including generic competition, resulting in a fall in demand and production volumes." The statement added: "Today Sanofi announced a proposal to cease all activity at its Fawdon Manufacturing Centre which currently employs circa 450 people. "Under the proposal the plant, which makes solid dose oral medications mainly for UK and European markets, would be scheduled to close by mid-2015."