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In September we wrote about how nearly 500 Genentech employees at the company’s Oceanside plant might be affected by a $43.7 billion takeover bid by the huge Swiss drug maker Roche.

The worry was that the plant could be downsized or even closed down after the takeover. It was a possibility seemed remote, given that the 500,000-square-foot plant is able to produce nearly a quarter of Genentech’s federally approved capacity to make Avastin, the company’s best-selling cancer drug. But being the object of a takeover is always stressful.

Now, three months later, the worldwide market meltdown has put the deal in what is best described as a prolonged limbo. A recent Reuters story I came across via the FiercePharma and In the Pipeline blogs, says that the deal is all but over.

This, of course, could be construed as good news for the folks in Oceanside, who would rather things stay as they are. And Genentech officials told the Wall Street Journal that all is good. However, as In the Pipeline observes, uncertainty is not the best working condition:

One consequence of all this is that people at Genentech have been living in a cloud of uncertainty for months now, and will stay there for the foreseeable future. That can’t be helping morale or productivity.

DAVID WASHBURN

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