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Suffolk IDA looks to recoup OSI tax breaks

The Suffolk County Industrial Development Agency has directed its attorney to recoup more than $375,000 in sales tax breaks given to OSI Pharmaceuticals, now that the drugmaker plans to leave Long Island altogether.

The IDA, together with New York State, provided tax incentives to OSI in support of its plan to expand at the Broad Hollow Bioscience Park in Farmingdale. The help was contingent on creating jobs and must be repaid because OSI terminated most of the 115 people who work in its local office and laboratory earlier this month.

OSI parent Astellas Pharma Inc. announced May 13 it was leaving Long Island as part of a global consolidation plan that also shutters facilities in California and Illinois.

Suffolk IDA executive director Anthony Manetta said he hopes OSI will repay the tax incentives voluntarily. "This is pursuant to our contract with them," he said.

Founded three decades ago, in part with technology developed at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, OSI grew rapidly after federal authorities approved the lung-cancer drug Tarceva. In 2010, OSI was purchased by Astellas Pharma of Japan for $4 billion.

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