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Shuffled About

The New Jersey-based drug maker Merck is cutting a number of jobs and shuffling others around, reports Derek Lowe at In the Pipeline.

He says that one Merck site in Pennsylvania is being shuttered and its screening work will be moved to Kenilworth, NJ. Meanwhile, discovery chemistry operations at Kenilworth and Rahway, NJ, are being cut by 20 percent, and Rahway's med-chem division is moving to Kenilworth, Lowe reports. In addition, he says disease-area biology at Kenilworth is ceasing, and some employees will be offered the option of moving to Boston or Bay Area locations.

All in all, Pharmalot's Ed Silverman reports that 360 jobs will be cut.

A Merck Research Laboratories spokesperson tells Endpoints News that it's making organizational changes to focus on emerging science and technologies and concentrating those efforts in Cambridge and the Bay Area.

In particular, Silverman says Merck plans to open new labs at its Cambridge location to focus on developing areas of study, such as the role of the microbiome in disease and that a new lab in the Bay Area is to concentrate on cardio-metabolic disease and oncology.

"Unfortunately, these changes will result in workforce reductions at our Kenilworth and Rahway, NJ, sites and our North Wales, PA, screening facility as we shift resources and personnel," the Merck spokesperson adds at Endpoints News.