Germany’s Merck Expanding Reagents in China

30.06.2023 - As part of an agreement with China’s Nantong Economic and Technological Development Area (NETDA), Germany’s Merck said it plans to spend €70 million to expand production capacity for highly-purified reagents at its site in the Chinese city of the same name, a major transportation hub in the Yangtze River Delta region.

Merck said the new 40,000 m2 facility is expected to be operational by 2026, offering high-performance products for quality control and testing to customers in the pharmaceutical, and industrial sectors, including food & beverage.

The chemicals, pharmaceuticals and life science group said the investment will allow large-scale manufacturing of the reagents for quality control and testing by biopharma customers and increase annual output by several thousand tonnes.

The Darmstadt-based group’s Life Science and Healthcare business segments are already active at the site, where Life Science supplies customers with cell cultures, and Healthcare manufactures top-line drugs that are on China's essential medicines list.

The latest investment in Nantong, Merck said, further supports its strategy to diversify its footprint and increase supply chain resilience in alignment with its customer base in the region.

In 2022, the company’s Life Science business invested €29 million in a new biologics testing center in Shanghai, along with spending €100 million to accelerate single-use manufacturing in Wuxi.

Jean-Charles Wirth, head of Science & Lab Solutions at Merck Life Science, said the continued growth of the life science and biopharma industries in China has led to increased demand for high quality products and a more resilient supply chain.

Bao Delin, deputy secretary and director of NETDA’s administration committee, said the expansion of Merck’s Life Science Center at Nantong is “an important milestone” in the German company’s plans to continue to playing an important role in the site’s transformation into an innovation-driven economy with sustainable, growth at its core.

Author: Dede Williams, Freelance Journalist