Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) Shuts Down Florida Facility

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) will start laying off more than 100 employees in its production plant in Florida next month as it prepares for the closure of the facility.

Factory Shutdown

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The pharmaceutical giant intends to lay off employees in two waves, the first of which is set next month and the other one in December. Only two employees will remain until 2017 to complete the closure of the factory.

The move is part of the company’s plans to minimize its manufacturing network. Merck had already shut down or unloaded a number of its manufacturing plants in Ireland and Puerto Rico.

Pressured to enforce cost-cutting initiatives over the past few years, major pharmaceutical industry players have resorted to shutting down or restructuring manufacturing plants and cutting jobs.

Earlier this year, AstraZeneca plc (ADR) (NYSE:AZN) has revealed that it would revitalize its manufacturing network as part of its billion-dollar cost-cutting prospects. Similarly, Novartis AG (ADR) (NYSE:NVS) has announced in January that it would rethink its production network as part of its restructuring efforts to realize savings.

The Liver Meeting 2016 Presentation

Merck will be presenting new data from its chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) clinical development programs at The Liver Meeting 2016, which will be held on November 11 to 15 in Massachusetts.

The presentation will include 15 abstracts involving the clinical evaluations of ZEPATIER (elbasvir and grazoprevir) and MK-3682B (MK-36821/grazoprevir 2/rusazvir) among chronic HCV patients.

“Merck has been a part of the fight against chronic hepatitis C infection for more than 30 years, and that fight continues,” noted Eliav Barr, Ph.D., Merck Research Laboratories Senior Vice President (SVP) Global Clinical Development, Infectious Diseases, and Vaccines.

ZEPATIER is a combination of elbasvir, an HCV NS5A inhibitor; and grazoprevir, an HCV NS3/4A protease inhibitor. In the US, it is approved for the treatment of chronic HCV GT1 patients.

At Wednesday’s close, Merck is up by 0.54% at $62.80; AstraZeneca is up by 0.09% at $32.60; and Novartis is up by 0.34% at $79.13.

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