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Suffolk Group Client EMD Serono to Add Jobs in Mass


EMD Serono’s Billerica office to be renamed the EMD Serono Research & Development Institute
 Courtesy EMD Serono

EMD Serono’s Billerica office to be renamed the EMD Serono Research & Development Institute

Associate Editor MHT- Boston Business Journal

EMD Serono, the biopharmaceutical subsidiary of German chemical and life science company, Merck KGaA, plans to expand its its Billerica, Mass. research and development site and add more than 125 new jobs in the state by the end of the year.

The company now has about 800 of its more than 1,000 U.S. employees split between its Rockland, Mass. headquarters and its Billerica site, at 45A Middlesex Turnpike. Company spokeswoman Kristen LaVerghetta told Mass High Tech that the expansion this year is part of an expected 20 percent increase in the number of U.S. employees that started in July of 2012, and will be completed by the end of 2014. LaVerghetta did not say exactly how many employees will be added in all, but said that the company has already expanded significantly in recent months.

Steve Arkinstall, senior vice president and head of U.S. research and global external innovation, said in an email statement to Mass High Tech that the company plans to grow its “key therapeutic areas of oncology and immuno-oncology” at the Billerica site. At the same time, he said, the company is looking to acquire technology in neurology (including in the area of multiple sclerosis), and plans to focus in some new disease areas, like immunology.

LaVerghetta said that the new hires will be largely in research and development jobs, with some hires on the commercial side.

Merck KGaA has about 5,000 employees total in the U.S., between EMD Serono, EMD Millipore (which is also in Billerica, but in a different building at 290 Concord Road) and a shared services center.

The Billerica site is being renamed the EMD Serono Research & Development Institute. In recent years, the company says it has invested more than $75 million in a new state-of-the-art research facility in Massachusetts.

“The U.S. represents one of the fastest-growing markets for our company,” said Annalisa Jenkins, head of global drug development and medical, in a statement. “Strengthening our presence in the US is central to our ability to deliver innovation and value to our patients and customers.”