Merck KGaA eyes job cuts at drugs unit -paper

FRANKFURT, April 11 Mon Apr 11, 2011 8:30am BST

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FRANKFURT, April 11 (Reuters) - Germany's Merck KGaA (MRCG.DE) is mulling job cuts at prescription drug unit Merck Serono to save costs, the Financial Times Deutschland newspaper reported, citing company sources.

Cutbacks could affect the unit's Swiss headquarters in particular, the paper added.

Stefan Oschmann took over Merck's prescription drug unit Merck Serono on Jan. 1 after the unit saw a string of setbacks in product development.

The European drugs watchdog on Sept. 24 dealt the German family controlled group a blow by advising against the oral multiple-sclerosis treatment cladribine in the drug's potentially largest market. [ID:nLDE68N04J]

Global drugmakers, including Merck & Co (MRK.N), Roche (ROG.VX) and Novartis (NOVN.VX), have announced job cuts as approvals for new products are slowing while key drugs are losing patent protection. (Reporting by Jonathan Gould; Editing by Louise Heavens)

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