More Pharma Jobs in Vevey

Posted on 16 November 2008 by Hans-T

Pharmaceutical giant Merck Serono is extending its Romandy-based biotechnology facilities, building a new center in Corsier-sur-Vevey and dadding several hundred new jobs.

Merck, founded in Germany in the 17th century, acquired Serono from the Bertarelli family in 2006 for over $10 billion last year in a highly publicized acquisition.

Merck Serono will spend roughly half a billion Swiss francs to construct a 3rd and fourth biotech center.

The new centers are to allow Merck Serono to design special molecules for treating various pathologies such as colon cancer. By 2012 Merck expects to ramp up production of Erbitux – a new cancer drug.

The arrival of the new centers was not without controversy – various associations like Greenpeace and WWF unsuccessfully fought the construction of the new buildings, mainly over the issue of genetic modification of organisms and problem of disposal of bio-organisms (particularly in the water).

Jobs in Vevey - Pharmaceuticals - Merck Serono

But the opposing arguments of economic benefits for the region and job creation won out.

The two sides ultimately compromised with the pharmaceutical giant agreeing to make public the data on any pollutants and the water purifying facilities in the area were improved.

With the new center in Vevey, which already houses Nestle’s lakeside world headquarters, 200 new jobs will be added to the already existing 300 jobs in the current facilities.

The headquarters of Merck Serono are in Geneva, and they provide jobs for researchers, scientists, engineers, biologists and laboratory workers.

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