Company news: Merck, Novo Nordisk

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Merck is seeking to trim its Cork staff by about 90 employees, reported RTE News, which also noted the company hopes to cut those jobs through “voluntary redundancies” over the next six months. RTE said reduced production of Interferon is behind the proposed slimdown.

Novo Nordisk is hiring about 1,000 people to tackle the diabetes marketplace in emerging markets like Vietnam, reported Bloomberg Wednesday. Bloomberg said the company wants to expand in areas including Egypt and Ukraine and expects to bring on the new staff over 24 months.

The Epilepsy Foundation (founded in 1968) and the Epilepsy Therapy Project (established in 2002) announced Thursday they will soon be known as the Epilepsy Foundation. Integration of the two non-profits is expected to be completed by January 2013. The two groups said in a joint statement that they have helped fund “42 of the 85 known drugs and devices in active development.”

The invite-only healthcare resource HealthyBegins.org announced its first invitations to the beta-stage social site have been sent out. The site's goal is to crowdsource information about factors that can have an impact on patient health -- for example, environmental and social dynamics -- and how to address them. “Clinicians and students who use this new resource will spur a transformation in the way we provide healthcare by helping improve health where it begins,” founder and CEO Rishi Manchanda said in a statement.

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