Merck strengthens commitment to China

Groundbreaking for new €80m manufacturing plant in Nantong to take place in August

This is an impression of the new Nantong facility which will be operational by 2017

German pharmaceutical company Merck will reiterate its commitment to investment in China when the groundbreaking takes place next month for its new €80m manufacturing plant in Nantong.

The facility, which will focus on bulk production and packaging of diabetes drug Glucophage, hypertension treatment Concor and thyroid drug Euthyrox, will be Merck’s second-largest pharmaceutical manufacturing facility globally when commercial production starts in 2017. Drugs for these illnesses are referenced in China's Essential Drug List and Merck says it is the first and only multinational to dedicate a large scale greenfield site towards production of drugs on the list.

Merck currently employs more than 2,000 people at over 40 sites in China, with the most important products including Erbitux to treat cancer and infertility treatment Gonal-f.

In total, the company has committed more than €100m to investments in China over the past three years.

'China is of strategic importance to Merck,' said Karl-Ludwig Kley, Chairman of the Executive Board. 'Together with government officials, customers, partners and our highly motivated local colleagues, we will explore ways to further address critical health care needs of the Chinese population – both with our high-quality drugs and our life science tools for biopharmaceutical R&D.'

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