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Merck KGaA Invests in Asian Biopharma

28.02.2018 -

To support the growing demand for biopharmaceutical manufacturing capability in Asia, German pharmaceuticals and chemicals producer Merck plans to increase its spending on manufacturing and distribution in the region.

The company said it has budgeted an additional €40 million to build a “robust” platform in the region over a period of two years. This follows on a planned €80 million life science investment in Nantong, China, announced in November 2016.

To accelerate Merck’s Mobius single-use manufacturing and address the growing biopharmaceutical demand in China, the German company is planning to open a single-use manufacturing site in Wuxi later this year. With the investment, it expects to reduce lead time by at least 50%.

China, which has a growing biosimilars market, is fast becoming a biotech powerhouse. Merck said, noting that single-use technologies provide increased flexibility and efficiency, which are critical for biosimilar development and manufacturing. 

In India, the company will complete its new manufacturing and distribution center at Mumbai in 2019.  The more than 12,000-square-meter site will have room to expand to meet future growth, further improving inventory availability and reducing lead times.

A new manufacturing and distribution center in the Songdo district of Incheon, South Korea, is due for completion in the 2019 fourth quarter. Merck said the investment will include an infrastructure to facilitate the supply of its products to customers in the country as well as advanced cell culture media manufacturing capabilities.

“The rapidly growing biopharmaceutical industry in South Korea makes the country one of the key Life Science hubs in Asia,” Merck said, adding that the push for research and for rapid, custom manufacturing capabilities translates into a greater need for accessibility to pharmaceutical products and solutions toward the advancement of research and innovation.

 “In biopharmaceutical research, time is of the essence,” commented Udit Batra, member of the Merck executive board and CEO, Life Science. “Our investments in the important Asian markets of South Korea, India and China ensure that our customers have ready access to the products needed to develop new therapies and biosimilars.“

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