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Merck KGaA Plans $70 Million US Research Hub

12.02.2019 -

To expand its R&D footprint in the US, but also with an eye to global markets, German pharmaceuticals and chemicals group Merck is establishing a new innovation hub in Billerica, Massachusetts, which will focus oncology, immuno-oncology and immunology.

The $70 million investment in state-of-the art research facilities scheduled to be completed in 2021 will encompass a new laboratory and collaborative working space that can accommodate around 400 new and current scientific employees.

Specifically, the new building will offer wet labs, office space and a cafeteria for the campus. Consistent with previous projects, Merck said the building will be constructed to the highest environmental and employee wellness standards by seeking LEED and WELL building standard certifications.

With this latest project, the German group said it will have invested more than $150 million in infrastructure to advance biopharmaceutical R&D in the state of Massachusetts in recent years, adding more than 150 new jobs to its growing Billerica hub established in 2011.

The town of Billerica played a “critical role in bringing this latest building expansion project to fruition,“ Merck said in a statement, without providing details on any local financial investment incentives.

Luciano Rossetti, global head of R&D for Merck’s biopharma business, said the group’s healthcare business continues to strengthen its innovation footprint in the US as well as at its global R&D headquarters in Darmstadt.

Travis McCready, president and CEO of Merck’s Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, added the continued investment in the New England state is “a testament to the state’s global leadership in life sciences."

Numerous international drugmakers have set up research facilities in the US state, which plays a leading role in globsl medical and pharmaceutical development.

Merck’s healthcare business employs around 3,500 R&D professionals across its four global R&D hubs in Darmstadt; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Tokyo, Japan; and Beijing, China. By its own account, it reinvests about 20% of total sales in R&D discovery and development annually.

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