Saddened Town Recalls History With Drug Giant
NUTLEY, N.J. — In a 127-acre medical research campus nestled at the edge of Nutley, N.J., scientists and engineers have performed groundbreaking feats of medical prowess. It was here that Valium was invented by the renowned research chemist Leo H. Sternbach and where advances have been made toward targeting different forms of cancer.
With roots dating to the late 1800s, Roche, a global pharmaceutical company with facilities in Nutley, has been a major player in the medical industry. But the way the residents of Nutley speak of the company’s recently announced departure suggests that they view it less like an international corporate giant and more like a friendly neighborhood mom-and-pop shop.
“Roche was very good to us; they really were,” said Linda Diacheysn, 48, a longtime Nutley resident and former Roche employee who was laid off during cutbacks in 2009. “Generations of people in Nutley worked there. It’s just devastating they are leaving. It’s so sad.”