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MSD to bring over 400 new jobs to North Carolina with two site expansions

Published on 31/07/19 at 12:59pm

MSD has announced a $650 million expansion of its existing facilities in North Carolina – a move which is bring more than 400 new jobs to the US state, according to the NC Department of Commerce.

The project will include an expansion of MSD’s existing packaging operations in Wilson County, while a new production facility will be built at the company’s Maurice R Hilleman Center for Vaccine Manufacturing in Durham. The first location will see a boost of 391 jobs, while the second will see an additional 34 positions open up.

MSD is pursuing these expansions in order to grow its capacity for the production of its Gardasil and Gardasil 9 recombinant human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines in order to meet growing demand.

"The life science industry cluster in North Carolina enjoys a well-earned reputation as one of the nation's leading centres for biotech innovation," commented North Carolina Commerce Secretary Anthony Copeland on announcement of the projects. "Merck's long experience in our state gave them the confidence to bring this important new operation to North Carolina."

Sanat Chattopadhyay, Executive Vice President at MSD, and President of the MSD Manufacturing Division, also remarked: "Merck is delighted to bring additional investment and jobs to North Carolina. Our Durham and Wilson plants are key strategic sites in the Merck global manufacturing network. And the strong support of the state is critical for the success of businesses such as ours."

However, the promising news was tempered by another announcement from the company that it would be terminating its API production for its varicella chickenpox vaccine at its Durham site – a move which would see around 150 staff axed from the company.

Matt Fellows

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