Merck is Poised to Open a new Cambridge Office Market Facility
Merck & Co., (NYSE: MRK) one of the world’s most successful drug companies, recently announced plans to launch a new research facility in the Cambridge office market. Company representatives indicated that the site will be opened later this year in unison with another research facility in San Francisco. Merck’s announcement also revealed that the drug giant will slash jobs at three sites across Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
Representatives from the New Jersey-based Merck revealed that the company intends to focus on early discovery research at the Cambridge office market site. It is anticipated that the facility will open at some point in the first quarter of 2017. A Merck spokeswoman stated that this research will center on “emerging science [and the] agnostic of therapeutic area”. The research will also explore the purpose of bacteria microbiome in disease stages. A number of biotech companies have launched in the past couple of years with the intention of using this bacteria to bolster heath and combat diseases.
The Wall Street Journal has reported that Merck’s new Cambridge office market site will be led by Daria Hazuda. His current title is head of Merck’s infectious disease discovery research. It is not yet known how many Merck employees will be employed within the Cambridge office market. The company has had a strong presence in Boston for well over a decade. Merck currently employs a couple hundred people in Lexington as a result of the company’s 2015 acquisition of Cubist Pharmaceuticals.
Merck representatives also made it known that company leaders are on the prowl for a new operating site in the Bay Area. The drug superstar plans to consolidate its biologics and cancer R&D efforts at this location. Merck will likely hire 100 scientists to work at the new site. In the meantime, Merck employees will work out of an interim facility based in South San Francisco.
Merck’s recent announcements of expansion in the Cambridge office market and the Bay Area are tempered by its plans to downsize staff at research labs in North Wales, Pennsylvania along with Rahway and Kenilworth, New Jersey. Between 300 and 400 workers will lose their jobs at these locations. It is the latest string of job cuts announced since Dr. Roger Perlmutter was appointed as the company’s head of research and development in 2013. Yet these organizational changes are counterbalanced by the considerable addition of jobs in the Cambridge office market and San Francisco. It is clear that Merck and other drug companies are relocating their facilities to locations where talented scientists and tech aficionados reside.
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