Quintiles to offer new jobs to 100 axed Merck Serono staffers

The global CRO Quintiles is stepping up with a commitment to hire at least 100 of the 500 staffers getting the ax in Merck Serono's ($MRK) Swiss ops. Like much of the rest of the outsourcing industry, Quintiles has been expanding as more Big Pharma companies downsize R&D and shun bricks and mortar. And in this case they can score a public relations coup while recruiting some top talent.

François Naef, Merck Serono's chairman, noted that the company has a long-standing relationship with Quintiles, which will be looking for staffers experienced in clinical operations, biostatistics, clinical research, and drug safety. Some may stay in the Lake Geneva area and others may have options outside the area. And more job offers are likely on the way as the restive staff deals with the shutdown of the big R&D hub on Lake Geneva.

"We will continue our discussions with a wide range of third parties to identify additional job opportunities for affected employees. We hope to announce other initiatives in the near future," Naef said in a statement. 

Last April Merck Serono announced plans to lay off 500 workers and relocate up to 750 other staffers as it closed the headquarters facility acquired in the big Serono buyout. The company is also setting up a $40 million fund to help finance spinouts. Quintiles says it will extend offers over the next three months.

- here's the press release