Merck KGaA to Build New Pharma Plant in China

28.11.2013 -

German chemicals and pharmaceuticals producer Merck KGaA plans to invest €80 million in a new pharmaceutical plant in the Nantong Economical Technological Development Area of Greater Shanghai. The Darmstadt-based company said production will focus on its leading brands referenced in China's essential drug list and serve the country's expanding healthcare needs in the areas of diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and thyroid disorders.

The new facility, the second largest site worldwide for biopharmaceuticals arm Merck Serono, will concentrate on bulk production and packaging of the drugs Glucophage, Concor and Euthyrox  for treatment of diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and thyroid disorders respectively. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2014, with commercial production to start in 2017. Merck said maximum resource efficiency and minimized waste generation during the manufacturing process will be targeted.

Merck has been present in China for 80 years. Over the past five years, Merck Serono has invested in a research center in Beijing, which focuses on biomarker research, including pharmacogenomics and bioanalytics. The company also maintains what it said is "an extensive network of collaborations" with leading academic and medical institutions, as well as local companies. Earlier in November, it announced a second co-development and commercialization agreement with BeiGene, building on an existing collaboration in oncology.

In Shanghai, Merck Millipore recently opened a biopharmaceutical technical and training center in China and will shortly start up a liquid Crystals manufacturing facility there.