A Merck spokesperson has confirmed to Pharmalot that the company plans to close two of its sites in New Jersey this year, with a third facility in the state being phased out by 2012. Following the big merger with Schering-Plough, Merck was left trimming big chunks of the combined operations. That process is proving immediately fatal to its Roseland and Lafayette sites, while the Union facility is being wound down at a later point.
Layoffs will hit a group of R&D and manufacturing workers, the blog reports, adding that workers have been noting the irony behind offering pink slips to the Schering-Plough employees who helped create the pipeline that Merck found so attractive.
Derek Lowe, who blogs at In The Pipeline, says he's been picking up rumors that a pool of works from the Union and Rahway sites will be cut.
"This doesn't surprise me, actually," notes Lowe. "Union was one of the oldest of the Schering-Plough sites (perhaps the oldest after the company moved out of Bloomfield in 1992?) It always seemed a bit odd to have it and Kenilworth right next to each other, and throwing Rahway into the mix meant that something was probably going to give."