Corante

About this Author
DBL%20Hendrix%20small.png College chemistry, 1983

Derek Lowe The 2002 Model

Dbl%20new%20portrait%20B%26W.png After 10 years of blogging. . .

Derek Lowe, an Arkansan by birth, got his BA from Hendrix College and his PhD in organic chemistry from Duke before spending time in Germany on a Humboldt Fellowship on his post-doc. He's worked for several major pharmaceutical companies since 1989 on drug discovery projects against schizophrenia, Alzheimer's, diabetes, osteoporosis and other diseases. To contact Derek email him directly: derekb.lowe@gmail.com Twitter: Dereklowe

Chemistry and Drug Data: Drugbank
Emolecules
ChemSpider
Chempedia Lab
Synthetic Pages
Organic Chemistry Portal
PubChem
Not Voodoo
DailyMed
Druglib
Clinicaltrials.gov

Chemistry and Pharma Blogs:
Org Prep Daily
The Haystack
Kilomentor
A New Merck, Reviewed
Liberal Arts Chemistry
Electron Pusher
All Things Metathesis
C&E News Blogs
Chemiotics II
Chemical Space
Noel O'Blog
In Vivo Blog
Terra Sigilatta
BBSRC/Douglas Kell
ChemBark
Realizations in Biostatistics
Chemjobber
Pharmalot
ChemSpider Blog
Pharmagossip
Med-Chemist
Organic Chem - Education & Industry
Pharma Strategy Blog
No Name No Slogan
Practical Fragments
SimBioSys
The Curious Wavefunction
Natural Product Man
Fragment Literature
Chemistry World Blog
Synthetic Nature
Chemistry Blog
Synthesizing Ideas
Business|Bytes|Genes|Molecules
Eye on FDA
Chemical Forums
Depth-First
Symyx Blog
Sceptical Chymist
Lamentations on Chemistry
Computational Organic Chemistry
Mining Drugs
Henry Rzepa


Science Blogs and News:
Bad Science
The Loom
Uncertain Principles
Fierce Biotech
Blogs for Industry
Omics! Omics!
Young Female Scientist
Notional Slurry
Nobel Intent
SciTech Daily
Science Blog
FuturePundit
Aetiology
Gene Expression (I)
Gene Expression (II)
Sciencebase
Pharyngula
Adventures in Ethics and Science
Transterrestrial Musings
Slashdot Science
Cosmic Variance
Biology News Net


Medical Blogs
DB's Medical Rants
Science-Based Medicine
GruntDoc
Respectful Insolence
Diabetes Mine


Economics and Business
Marginal Revolution
The Volokh Conspiracy
Knowledge Problem


Politics / Current Events
Virginia Postrel
Instapundit
Belmont Club
Mickey Kaus


Belles Lettres
Uncouth Reflections
Arts and Letters Daily
In the Pipeline: Don't miss Derek Lowe's excellent commentary on drug discovery and the pharma industry in general at In the Pipeline

In the Pipeline

« Oncology Follow-Up Trials | Main | Gonna Focus on Re-Engineering the Tools for the Process »

February 23, 2011

Want to Live Where Merck Used to Work?

Email This Entry

Posted by Derek

A reader from the UK passes along this link. If you're wondering what's going to happen to the former Merck site at Terlings Park, well, here would appear to be your answer. The company is now looking to turn the property into a residential development, having apparently (after several years) given up on the idea of ever shifting it as a research facility. Word has been (see the comments here) that the facilities were deterioring at this point, anyway, making such a sale even less likely.

Having worked at a research site that was later paved over and turned into a Home Depot, among other things, I've seen some definitively repurposed facilities before. But considering the state of pharma research in the UK as a whole, this is another bad sign. Terlings Park seems to have had a much better location than Sandwich for doing R&D, so good luck indeed to these efforts. . .

Comments (18) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Business and Markets


COMMENTS

1. Virgil on February 23, 2011 9:44 AM writes...

Interesting that the real estate website lists the former owners merely as "MSD", presumably dropping the name "Merck" from the proceedings because interest in living on top of a former chemical research facility would not be very high.

Permalink to Comment

2. K on February 23, 2011 10:14 AM writes...

How depressing. Your final sentance is, unfortunately, very true Derek. Sandwich hasn't got a chance

Permalink to Comment

3. A noony Mouse on February 23, 2011 10:22 AM writes...

You have to realise that planning permission for "brown field" sites in the UK is fairly easy to obtain due to the lack of "green field" building land. I can assure you, having seen the development on the of Wellcome research site at Beckenham, that there will be no problem moving the properties!

Permalink to Comment

4. henry's cat on February 23, 2011 10:36 AM writes...

Hmm. My father used to work on a (now derelict) chemical plant site near Cambridge. Developers also want to turn that site in to housing. Dad has made it clear to anyone that will listen that he wouldn't take a house there for free, its that contaminated. When they finish the job at Terlings any future occupants will likely have a particular byelaw forbidding the growing of vegetables and fruit on site. Should tell you all you need to know. Just raze all the buildings and let the original tenants (nature) move back in...

Permalink to Comment

5. A Nonny Mouse on February 23, 2011 10:39 AM writes...

Forgot to mention that GSK has closed the biologicals operation which was the only remaining part of the old Wellcome Beckenham site. No doubt that that, too, will soon be housing (people were actually relocated to Stevenage, so there wasn't too much of a loss of personnel). Pity, as that kept the old club house and the beautiful tennis courts that were used by the competitors pre-Wimbledon.

Permalink to Comment

6. Hap on February 23, 2011 10:57 AM writes...

#4: Wow, that sounds almost as reassuring as "The road ahead is safe, but close your windows, turn off your air conditioning, and drive as fast as you can for the next fifty miles." I guess it's better than a cardboard box, though.

Permalink to Comment

7. AlchemistOrganique on February 23, 2011 12:00 PM writes...

Eew...can we say superfund site? I wonder if there's a British version of Erin Brokovich...

Permalink to Comment

8. Hap on February 23, 2011 1:09 PM writes...

Considering the state of pharma and chemistry in general, maybe they'll take The Onion's idea and sell the property for conversion into a Homeless Depot.

Permalink to Comment

9. Lacerta Bio on February 23, 2011 3:57 PM writes...

Well if there is a modicum of good news in all of this, it's that the land is being converted into something, like housing, that is sorely needed and will definitely rise in value year over year over the foreseeable future. Oh, wait...

Permalink to Comment

10. Beentheredonethat on February 23, 2011 7:01 PM writes...

Apparently its still up for sale. Maybe the planning permission got turned down.

http://www.cbre.co.uk/portal/pls/portal/cbweb.property_frontend_dact.show_property_brochure?id=6283

Permalink to Comment

11. Ed on February 24, 2011 4:11 AM writes...

Shame that with the de-skilling of the UKs workforce as evidenced by the general running down of PharmaUK, no-one will be able to afford to buy any of these expensive new homes. Still, looking forward to the nice new housing developments that will be planned for AZ Loughborough and Pfizer Sandwich.

Permalink to Comment

12. Ex process chemist on February 24, 2011 6:57 AM writes...

AZ Loughborough site is in the middle of an industrial site on land designated for industrial use. It is also on a flood plain - although the flood prevention system put in a few years ago seems to work. So very unlikely it will be developed for housing - or anything else in the current climate.

Permalink to Comment

13. Anonymous on February 24, 2011 9:13 AM writes...

When at GSK Harlow, the rumour went that we were going to buy it, but that Merck were holding out for too much money. There were also rumours about (supermarket chain) Tesco buying it up, as well as a few others interested in acquiring a bespoke R&D site, e.g. Eisai.
Maybe Merck have now lowered their valuation of the site?

Permalink to Comment

14. Anonymous on February 26, 2011 4:12 AM writes...

I was involved in the GSK evaluation of Terlings Park. Merck didn't want too much money, in fact the price was a bargain, little more than the commercial value of the land. It was however an expensive site to run from an Opex perspective which was the main reason (at the time) for not doing the deal. Knowing what we know now though, it would not have lasted long as a GSK site either.

Permalink to Comment

15. Anonymous on February 26, 2011 6:03 PM writes...

It looks like my lab will be converted into a lounge and my office into WC.

Permalink to Comment

16. Beentheredonethat on February 28, 2011 4:26 AM writes...

Terlings Park
The future of the Terlings Park site continues to be unclear. Terlings Park was formerly occupied by Merck Sharp and Dohme’s National Neuroscience Research Centre and has been closed for a number of years. We have been in regular contact with CB Richard Ellis who is acting for Merck Sharp and Dohme to sell the site. CBRE believe maximum value will be obtained if the site can continue its use for pharmaceutical research but due to current industry trends this is not likely. Interest was shown earlier this year by the Health Protection Agency which has considered the site as an option for its new Centre of Excellence for research and bio-medical manufacturing. However, due to the changes recently announced at GSK the HPA have been strongly encouraged by Harlow Council and Harlow MP Bill Rammell to favour the GSK site in preference to Terlings Park. At the time of writing there is no conclusion to this discussion and there also remains the possibility that the HPA will stay in Wiltshire where there is very strong opposition to their potential move away from the area.

As further background, Terlings Park is identified as a Major Developed Site within the green belt. Beyond 2011, the future use of this site will be addressed in the first East Herts Local Development Framework, which is being prepared as a review of the Local Plan.

Permalink to Comment

17. ExMrk on March 1, 2011 11:50 PM writes...

I repeat, rationing access to SciFinder and other like tools was not a good strategy for drug development. TP's just another dead fish from a poisoned well.

Permalink to Comment

18. Anon on July 12, 2012 9:50 AM writes...

Once developed this would be a great location to live, surrounded by parkland and the river. Earlier comments on not being able to go fruit or veg due to contamination, hogwash. The site was always maintained to high standards, no asbestos was on site, all drainage was double lined and tested. People just see a company name and jump to conclusions. I worked here for 17 yrs and will defiantly buy a property here

Permalink to Comment

POST A COMMENT




Remember Me?



EMAIL THIS ENTRY TO A FRIEND

Email this entry to:

Your email address:

Message (optional):




RELATED ENTRIES
The Worst Seminar
Conference in Basel
Messed-Up Clinical Studies: A First-Hand Report
Pharma and Ebola
Lilly Steps In for AstraZeneca's Secretase Inhibitor
Update on Alnylam (And the Direction of Things to Come)
There Must Have Been Multiple Chances to Catch This
Weirdly, Tramadol Is Not a Natural Product After All