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Quintiles offers 100 jobs to Merck Serono employees affected by cuts

Staff at Geneva site set for closure could find new roles at pharma services firm

Quintiles has pledged to offer at least 100 jobs within the next three months to employees affected by the closure of Merck Serono's Swiss headquarters in Geneva.

Merck KGaA confirmed the closure of its pharmaceutical division's Swiss operations in Geneva and Coinsins earlier this month, with the loss of over 500 jobs, after concluding employee negotiations.

But Merck said the latest announcement is only the “first employment initiative” to support affected employees, adding that it would continue to explore further collaborations that may result in further employment opportunities.

“We have a long-standing relationship with Quintiles, and we are very pleased that at least 100 of our Geneva-based employees will be offered the opportunity to work with this trusted partner," said François Naef, chairman of Merck Serono.

"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."

Quintiles, a company that offers both clinical and commercials services to the biopharma industry, will hold an information session in Geneva and conduct job interviews for Merck employees from July 2012.

Job offers will include positions in clinical operations, biostatistics, clinical research and drug safety, and will be based across several locations, including the Lake Geneva area and the option to work from home.

"We are always looking for highly qualified drug development experts with extensive biopharma industry experience, such as those we now have the opportunity to add from Merck Serono," said Paula Brown Stafford, president of clinical development for Quintiles.

Additional efforts from Merck to assist affected employees find other work include a $30m support fund to help launch a biopharma start-up.

The majority of transfers and cuts are due to be completed in the second half of 2012, with the closure of the Geneva site planned for mid-2013 and that of the Coinsins facility to follow in 2014.

About 750 of the 1,250 employees currently based at the Geneva site will be transferred to Merck Serono's German headquarters in Darmstadt.

26th June 2012

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