Closing of Merck Frosst’s Centre for Therapeutic Research: a dark day for Canada’s life sciences industry
Montréal, July 8, 2010 – The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal is dismayed by the announced closing of Merck Frosst’s Centre for Therapeutic Research in Kirkland. This decision, which will result in the loss of 180 jobs in Montréal, is part of the company’s international consolidation following a merger and resulting excess capacity.
“Today is a bleak day for the Canadian life sciences industry,” said Michel Leblanc, president and CEO of the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal. “Merck Frosst’s Centre for Therapeutic Research was one of the most important in the country. High-quality jobs will be lost or transferred elsewhere. The entire life sciences cluster in Montreal is shaken by this decision.”
“We understand that this is a business decision that reflects an unfavourable trend in the industry in Canada, which has lasted for several years,” Mr. Leblanc said. “Pharmaceutical companies are complaining about the deterioration in access to the Canadian market for their products, even though Quebec continues to be the province most open to new drugs. Without a doubt, Montréal and Quebec have the best conditions in the country for research development of new drugs, which in part explains Merck’s decision to invest an additional $100 million in research partnerships in Quebec.”
“Merck’s decision illustrates the importance of offering businesses the most favourable environment possible for innovation and increasing the competitiveness of our businesses, particularly in high-value-added sectors. While we have already distinguished ourselves in several strategic high-tech sectors, such as interactive gaming and aerospace, and in more traditional sectors, such as aluminum smelters, we can’t take things for granted, and we have to do everything we can to develop the appeal of Montréal and Quebec,” Michel Leblanc concluded.
The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal is made up of some 7,000 members. Its mission is to represent the interests of the business community of Greater Montréal and to provide individuals, merchants, and local businesses of all sizes with a variety of specialized services to help them achieve their full potential in terms of innovation, productivity, and competitiveness. The Board of Trade is Quebec's leading private economic development organization.
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Coordinator, Media Relations
Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal
Tel.: 514 871-4000, ext. 4015