Merck to close Inspire HQ, cut jobs

As Merck wraps up its purchase of the eye-drug specialist Inspire Pharmaceuticals, it's planning to close the company headquarters in North Carolina, cut jobs and relocate operations. It's unclear how many jobs will go, but several senior Inspire executives are among those preparing to leave, the News & Observer reports.

According to the N&O, Inspire's Raleigh HQ will shut down by year's end, with some jobs cut and others relocated. Inspire has 175 employees, including about 60 in Raleigh, while Merck's North Carolina work force amounts to about 1,000, housed at two separate sites. "We expect some employees to be separated," Merck spokesman Ian McConnell told the newspaper.

The employee exits will begin this month, McConnell said. "Several senior leaders are departing in May, and others will depart on dates to be determined as we go through the process of integrating the two organizations," he told the N&O.

- see the story in the N&O