Per the agreement, the contract research organization (CRO) Pharmaron will occupy research buildings previously owned by MSD (Merck in the US and Canada), while MSD will continue to use the site as its headquarters, leasing the site's main office buildings.
Boliang Lou, Chairman and CEO of Pharmaron commented that the acquisition will allow the company to develop its capabilities in process chemistry and manufacturing services.
The sale of the site to Pharmaron follows the closure of MSD’s research facilities in June this year after a global company review of MSD’s research strategy aimed at strengthening its business.
“This has seen the reduction of the size and scale of our small molecule process development area which was a research speciality located at Hoddesdon and to consolidate this type of science in one or two locations in the US where it can be co-located with some important and complementary biologics process work,” a MSD spokesperson told Outsourcing-Pharma.com.
The closure of the research facilities has also meant a reduction in the amount of office space needed.
“The deal will secure the future of the site while meeting the changing business needs of MSD and its employees for the foreseeable future,” the spokesperson said. “It also ensures MSD’s scientific legacy in Hoddesdon continues, with the potential to create local opportunities for our scientific staff in their areas of expertise.”
The deal, commercial details of which were not disclosed, is expected to be completed in Q1 2017.