MRL To Shift About 350 Jobs Out Of NJ and PA — To San Francisco And Boston: Philly.com

Very early this morning, Derek Lowe had reported on the broad outlines, here (but he had heard that one or more of the facilities might be closed). We chose to wait for a confirmation from Kenilworth. I am now gratified that we did so.

About mid-afternoon, Eastern Daylight Time, Merck partially confirmed the rumblings Derek had heard, in an official fashion. [It also dispelled some of what he had heard, as well — in fairness.]

At one point, there were nearly 36,000 employees in New Jersey and Pennsylvania alone, prior to the absorption of legacy Schering-Plough, into Merck, in November 2009. After this latest set of cuts, there will be fewer than 12,300. Here’s Philly.com’s updated report:

. . . .Merck Research Laboratories is shifting jobs from its old manufacturing centers in Pennsylvania and New Jersey towards hotter biomedical research areas around Boston and San Francisco.

UPDATED 2:55 pm: Merck’s 3,600-staff Discovery, Pre-Clinical and Early Development group is cutting “less than 10 percent,” or between 300 and 360 jobs, from sites in North Wales, Montgomery County; Rahway, N.J.; and Kenilworth, N.J., near the company’s headquarters, says spokeswoman Lainie Keller. The sites will remain open.

Merck “is increasing our investment in exploratory biology in areas where biomedical research is converging, specifically in Cambridge, Massachusetts (home to Harvard University, where Merck has facilities). and the San Francisco Bay area,” said Keller. “Unfortunately, these changes will result in workforce reductions” at the company’s North Wales drug-screening facility and the New Jersey sites “as we shift resources and personnel.”

. . .Merck employs around 12,500 in central Montgomery County, mostly in Lower Gwynedd Township and West Point borough, where the company makes pills as well as developing drugs. . . .

Well it seems that “disease area biology, in Kenilworth” is not shutting down, entirely. And that is good news for all the families of these science and technical people. Now you know. Still beaming brightly, at the new life — and “the opinion of the Infinite that the Universe should go on. . . .”

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