Pharmaceutical giant Merck, which recently completed its $430 million acquisition of Inspire Pharmaceuticals, is closing the company's Raleigh headquarters as of Aug. 31 and eliminating 51 jobs.
Merck notified N.C. officials yesterday of its plans to shut down the headquarters. "The entire facility is to be closed," Merck said in the letter to the N.C. Department of Commerce.
The move will mean the elimination of 51 jobs left at the Inspire office, Merck reported. Last month Merck said it planned to close Inspire's local headquarters before the end of the year. At that time, the company had an estimated 60 workers in Raleigh.
Inspire was founded in 1995 on research conducted at UNC-Chapel Hill and went public in 2000. It had 240 employees at the outset of this year, but cut 27 percent of its workforce in February after its experimental treatment for cystic fibrosis unexpectedly failed in clinical trials. That failure, after 10 years and $120 million spent on the drug's development, triggered the company's sale.