Merck Serono holds groundbreaking ceremony for €80m Nantong plant

Commercial production is expected to commence in 2017

Merck Serono says the new plant in Nantong will comply with the highest international standards

Merck Serono, the biopharmaceutical division of Merck, today (27 August) held the groundbreaking ceremony for its new €80m pharmaceutical manufacturing facility in Nantong, China.

The new facility, which will be the Group’s second-largest pharmaceutical manufacturing facility worldwide, will focus on the bulk production and packaging of diabetes treatment Glucophage, cardiovascular drug Concor, and Euthyrox, a treatment for thyroid disorders.

'Today, we are focused on localising production to cater better to the demands of Chinese doctors and patients,' said Belén Garijo, President and Chief Executive of Merck Serono. 'At the same time, we are localising research and development to further build a differentiated portfolio of medicines in China, aimed at serving patient needs for general as well as specialised care. We are also creating alliances and partnerships with local partners in every part of our operations.'

The new 40,000m2 pharmaceutical manufacturing plant will be located in the Nantong Economical Technological Development Area (NETDA), in the Greater Shanghai region and will be Merck’s largest manufacturing facility outside Europe when completed in 2016, with commercial production starting in 2017.

The site will comply with the highest international standards in terms of quality, as well as sustainability and health and safety.

'By building our new facility in the great city of Nantong, we are committing our resources to the clear objective that our drugs be made more readily available for hospitals, doctors and patients in China,' added Allan Gabor, President and Chief Executive of Merck Serono China.

'This emphasis is part of a greater goal to promote not just better access to medicines, but also better access to health for every person in this country. This is a key goal for China, and this is Merck Serono’s commitment.'