Tech company Merck has invested more than €290 million in its biosafety testing capacity at Rockville, Maryland, USA.
The move is set to significantly increase the company’s ability to conduct biosafety testing and analytical development services. Biosafety testing and analytical development are critical and fundamental requirements of the drug development and commercialisation process to ensure the safety of medicines. Global demand for these services is growing at a double-digit rate.
“Merck is harnessing its broad portfolio of modern technologies and enabling services to help ensure the safety of the world’s medicines. These significant investments in Rockville and other sites across our global network will help us meet growing demand for the robust testing studies that biologics manufacturers depend upon to comply with stringent regulatory guidelines,” said Belén Garijo, Chair of the Executive Board and CEO of Merck. “This is a prime example of our focus on sustainable growth in areas with strong underlying upwards dynamics.”
“This is the largest investment in contract testing in Merck’s history. Our Rockville campus has a long track record of testing for both traditional and novel therapies. We have been driving innovation in biosafety testing for 75 years and this expansion enables Merck to lead in shaping the future of testing,” said Matthias Heinzel, Member of the Executive Board of Merck and CEO Life Science. “We thank the State of Maryland and Montgomery County, Maryland, for their collaboration in making this new campus a reality for our employees and clients. Together, we are impacting life and health with science.”
We have been driving innovation in biosafety testing for 75 years and this expansion enables Merck to lead in shaping the future of testing
The BioReliance contract testing portfolio from Merck provides best-in-class biosafety testing and analytical development methods for both traditional and novel therapies. The new state-of-the-art, 23,000 sqm facility at Merck’s Rockville site will house biosafety testing, analytical development, viral clearance suites, and cell bank manufacturing services. Currently, about 600 employees work at the site. Over the next four years, the expansion will create more than 500 new jobs.
With more than 30 years of drug development, material science and process technology expertise, Millipore CTDMO Services offerings span pre-clinical development to commercial manufacturing, including testing, across multiple modalities including mAbs, highly potent active pharmaceutical ingredients, antibody-drug conjugates, viral vector therapies, mRNA, and lipid nanoparticle formulation.
Contract testing and the newly formed Millipore CTDMO Services are part of the Life Science Services business unit, which together with the Process Solutions business is one of Merck's “Big 3” growth drivers. The company aims to increase its Group sales to approximately €25 billion by 2025.
Recently, Merck’s Life Science business sector announced investments in Martillac and Molsheim, France; Shanghai, China; Sheboygan and Verona, Wisconsin, USA; Cork, Ireland; Wuxi, China; Carlsbad, California, USA; Jaffrey, New Hampshire and Danvers, Massachusetts, USA; Buchs, Switzerland; and Darmstadt, Germany. These expansions are part of an ambitious, multi-year program. It aims to increase the capacity and capabilities of Merck’s Life Science business sector to support the growing global demand for lifesaving medications and to make significant contributions to public health.