Merck Serono, a division of Merck, has formed the fourth company stemming from its Entrepreneur Partnership Program (EPP). The new company, dubbed TQM Insight, is a services company specializing in IT governance, which Merck Serono says is a business-critical need for companies operating in regulated industries such as the pharmaceutical, chemical, and banking sectors. Merck Serono is committing more than €1.8 million (around $2.4 million) in contracts over the next eighteen months and will become TQM Insight’s first client.

“The formation of TQM Insight allows our former employees to capitalize on their experience at Merck Serono, to start a unique and promising business in IT governance,” said Frédéric Wohlwend, Group CIO of Merck. “We strongly believe that TQM Insight’s offering will meet the specific needs of the many companies in the regulated industries based in the Lake Geneva area, and beyond.”

Operational as of January 2013, TQM Insight will initially employ six people from the information service governance unit to be led by Gary Price, formerly the corporate director of IT Governance at Merck Serono.

TQM Insight was set up through Merck Serono’s EPP, an initiative to help employees to start a business focused on activities or compounds from Merck Serono. Since its initiation in May 2012 (not long after Merck Serono closed its Geneva headquarters and moved its functions to Darmstadt, a restructuring that led to the loss of over 500 jobs), the EPP has allowed the creation of three other spin-off and services companies:

  • Prexton Therapeutics, founded last July and formed around Merck Serono’s R&D portfolio in the field of Parkinson’s disease, with a focus on programs that target the metabotropic glutamate receptors mGluR3 and mGluR4;
  • Quartz Bio, a bioinformatics firm founded last September;
  • Asceneuron, focused on the development of therapies for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and Tau protein-related pathologies, and founded in October.

Further employee projects are currently being evaluated and will be announced in the course of 2013.

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