New Jersey R&D sites vital, says Merck CEO

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US R&D facilities in Rahway and Kenilworth, New Jersey will remain operational as they are vital to the to the newly formed Merck Schering-Plough group, according to CEO Richard Clark.

Clark told the Star Ledger that: “[Kenilworth and Rahway] are very important research sites​,’’ explaining that they conduct "very specific research work that we need to keep in place."

The $41bn (€27.6bn) Merck-Schering mega-merger, which completed yesterday, formed the world’s second largest drugmaker with more than 106,000 employees in 140 countries worldwide.

While the firm said that: “At this time, all other sites will continue to operate as they did before the merger,” ​there has been considerable speculation about which operations would continue under the combined company.

Yesterday’s announcement is obviously good news for New Jersey, where Merck employs 14,000 people, and lends further support to the idea that Schering drug pipeline and research capabilities were a key driver for the deal.

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