Organon R&D hub faces shutdown as Merck fails to close a deal

After months of wrangling with labor leaders, Merck says it has been unable to find a buyer for its R&D division in the Netherlands. And without a new owner for all or part of the hub, Merck may have to push ahead with its original plan to close Organon and lay off up to 2,175 research staffers.

In recent days various news reports buzzed about potential bidders for pieces of Organon. Takeda, Aspen and Dutch bioscience company Pantarhei were all reportedly in discussions with Merck, which acquired the R&D hub when it bought up Schering-Plough. Slated for closure last December, Merck pushed the deadline back to February 15, only to come up empty handed.

"This conclusion was taken after Merck concluded that it could not support the potential transaction," Merck said in a statement. Reuters is reporting that MSD-Organon will explore keeping some of the R&D jobs within the company.

- here's the story from Reuters