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Germany's Boehringer shutters U.S. unit Ben Venue Labs

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Germany's Boehringer Ingelheim, the world's largest unlisted drugmaker, said it will shut down its U.S. contract manufacturing unit Ben Venue Laboratories after a number of rebukes by U.S. healthcare regulators.

Closing the unit and its Bedford, Ohio production site will affect 1100 staff, a spokeswoman said on Sunday.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said in January that Ben Venue, which produces cancer drug Doxil for Johnson & Johnson (JNJ.N) among a range of other drugs, had repeatedly violated manufacturing practices.

As early as November 2011 Ben Venue had suspended production of Doxil due to quality control problems.

Upgrades at the unit to lift a ban imposed by U.S. regulators had weighed Boehringer's 2012 earnings.

The spokeswoman said that it had now become clear that "considerable additional investments would have been necessary, which can no longer be justified".

Demand for a number of drugs produced at the site had declined, she added.

(Reporting by Ludwig Burger)