Quintiles’ new joint venture with Quest – Q2 Lab Solutions – formally launched Thursday with a work force of some 2,000 people. But will there be layoffs due to any overlap in job functions? Might there also be new jobs created?

The answers to both questions are unclear right now.

But as Quintiles CEO Tom Pike and other executives have made clear from the unveiling of the joint venture in March there would be “synergies” – overlapping job functions – that would lead to cost savings, i.e. layoffs.

So WTW asked Phil Bridges, senior director of corporate communications at Quintiles, about jobs after Thursday morning’s launch. (Quintiles owns 60 percent of the joint venture.)

“Currently, Q2 Solutions has more than 2,000 staff around the world,” Bridges noted.

Asked how many were from Quintiles, he noted: I don’t have a total number of employees involved / transferred.

At least some are based near Quintiles’ Durham headquarters in the Bradford Building at 5827 South Miami Blvd. That site serves as Q2’s U.S. headquarters. The headquarters for Q2’s “rest of the world” is located in Edinburgh, U.K.

Asked about possible job cuts, Bridges replied:

“Over time, we anticipate to generate cost efficiencies through productivity enhancements, as well as operational supply chain management synergies. We have established a multi-functional integration team to determine how best to align the two operations most effectively. This process may take several months.

“Q2 Solutions recognizes that its people are an integral part of the new organization’s value. A joint integration team from Quintiles and Quest Diagnostics continues to focus on integration and where opportunities exist to leverage the strengths of both organizations. Like other services businesses, the size and composition of our global network routinely fluctuates based on project and business needs.”

Bridges also said new jobs might be created.

“We evaluate potential hiring needs in connection with the joint integration plan and business needs. As with any service company, hiring is dictated in large part by business demands,” he said.

For more information about Q2, see: http://www.q2labsolutions.com