Merck scouts U.K. for new site, paper says

Merck may be planning to shutter some facilities as it absorbs Schering-Plough. But the U.S.-based drugmaker is also scouting sites for a "major new facility," a U.K. business publication reports. Merck has hired London real estate agents to scout for 80,000 to 100,000 square feet of space, Business Weekly says, with Cambridge as one leading contender.

Apparently, the dollar's relative strength against the British pound is one reason why Merck is considering a base there. Currency considerations also prompted Pfizer to keep its research hub in Cambridge after its merger with Wyeth, the paper says.

No word on what operations might center in the new British hub. But Business Weekly cites the new Cambridge BioMed campus as a potential site, indicating that at least part of Merck's work there would be research-oriented. Cambridge also boasts locations such as Granta Park and Chesterford Research Park, which house several Big Pharma facilities.

- read the Business Weekly article