MSD announces plan to establish UK Discovery Centre in London

MSD, known as Merck, in the US and Canada, announced its commitment to establish a state of the art life sciences discovery research facility in London, focussed on early bioscience discovery and entrepreneurial innovation

For more than a century, MSD, a global biopharmaceutical company, has been inventing for life, bringing forward medicines and vaccines for the world’s most challenging diseases.

The new UK Discovery Centre is anticipated to create 150 new research roles with the aim of attracting the brightest and best research scientists to work in London.

It is intended that the UK Discovery Centre will become the location for MSD’s UK HQ, making the central London site a unique location within the UK pharmaceutical sector.

The new site is also intended to accommodate approximately 800 additional staff for the UK domestic market and other European clinical functions currently based in MSD in the UK’s Hoddesdon HQ.

The company is currently evaluating several potential locations in the London region with a target date of 2020 for operational readiness.

In the meantime, MSD plans to establish a small temporary research facility in the area and is actively recruiting for suitably qualified scientific talent.

The proposed investment is in line with MSD Research Laboratories’ continued pursuit of new innovative scientific discovery and collaboration and follows similar investments in new biomedical centres in the San Francisco Bay Area and Cambridge Massachusetts.

MSD believes that locating a research facility in London will expand MSD’s opportunity to engage with leading researchers in the UK and Europe.

Dr Roger M. Perlmutter, President of MSD Research Laboratories, said: “Strong discovery capabilities and the pursuit of scientific excellence are foundational to MSD’s mission to save and improve lives around the world.”

“This new London location will enable us to build on our proud legacy of invention and be an important contributor to the vibrant and rapidly growing London life sciences community while providing access for more collaborations within the European life science ecosystem.”

“We believe London to be a unique bioscience centre of excellence and a key component of the established golden triangle for academic science of London-Oxford-Cambridge,” said Louise Houson, Managing Director of MSD in the UK and Ireland.

“This investment presents a major opportunity for us to work in collaboration with the UK Government to build on the forward thinking and ambitious industrial strategy white paper published by the Government.”

With the recent relocation of the European Medicines Agency to Amsterdam and concerns in the pharmaceutical industry about whether Britain will continue to punch above its weight in the share of global life sciences investment it receives post-Brexit, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Greg Clark said the investments represented "a huge vote of confidence" in the government's plans.

Companies