According to local media reports, approximately 200 jobs from a total workforce of 584 will be shed as part of a reorganization process, with the intention of selling the French site in the future.
The location is responsible for the manufacture of sterile injectable drugs, as well as possessing an R&D center responsible for toxicology studies.
The Riom site was created 41 years ago and became part of the MSD, known as Merck in North America and Mexico, through the acquisition of Chibret laboratories.
In regard to both production and toxicology studies, the company noted that the center had experienced ‘under-utilization’. It will now look at discontinuing toxicology functions at the site and reorganizing activity at the manufacturing center.
In the long-term, a spokesperson for the company noted that there are no plans to close the site, and the company wants to find a buyer to maintain activity and employment on a ‘sustainable basis’, a statement on the restructure announced.
“We intend to carry out the project to reorganize and transform the Mirabel site in a spirit of dialogue and transparency with the social partners. The most appropriate means to support our employees will be implemented," said Jean-Albert Pittaluga, site manager.
According to the company, the consultation and negotiation process with employee representative bodies will begin on the November 20.
Earlier this year, MSD had announced that it would be conducting a manufacturing restructuring program over the next four years. At the time, the company suggested that the aim would be to reduce the company’s global real estate footprint.
A spokesperson was not able to tell us which sites would be affected when the news was first announced, but the plans in France would fit into the wider project.
Despite looking to close its sterile drug facility, MSD is looking to expand manufacturing in other areas, particularly for products that are currently experiencing high demand, such as its Gardasil (recombinant human papillomavirus vaccine) products and Ebola vaccine.