EIGHTY-four jobs have been lost after the collapse of a Westhoughton pharmaceuticals firm.

Administrators had previously been called in at M&A Pharmachem, in Wigan Road, as a hunt for fresh investment was undertaken.

But officials at recovery specialists FRP have confirmed that this was not possible to secure and the Allenby Laboratories analgesics outfit, which had been trading for 44 years, was now closing.

The last available accounts for M&A Pharmachem showed a significant drop in turnover from 2020 to 2021, from £15.55m to £3.08m, turning a £1.33m gross profit into a £2.1m loss.

The pre-tax net losses had widened from £3.06m to £6.06m over the same trading period.

Back then director Adam Collins outlined how the suspension of manufacturing licences in that year’s third quarter, which were later reinstated, had had an impact on the trading figures.

Joint administrators Anthony Collier and David Acland, of FRP, were brought in and the business. which made paracetamol and opiate medicines, was marketed for sale.

But in a statement Mr Collier said: ““M&A Pharmachem was a significant employer in the local area.

“Without urgent investment, the business was unable to continue and has since closed.

“We’re working with all staff to support them through this difficult time and will help impacted staff in their claims.”

The company had worked with a number of community pharmacies, high street names and had established an overseas export arm.