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Merck KGaA opened a collaborative bio/pharma development facility in Molsheim, France and announced an investment plan through 2025 for its Darmstadt, Germany headquarters.
Merck KGaA announced in a March 20, 2019 press release the opening of a new facility in Molsheim, France to support pharmaceutical and biotechnology customers from pre-clinical through full-scale production in a non-GMP environment. The new M Lab Collaboration Center is the first in Europe and ninth worldwide for the company’s life-science business, providing biopharmaceutical manufacturers with a shared, exploratory environment where they can collaborate with company scientists and engineers to accelerate development and production of new therapies.
The $11-million center, with 43,000 square feet of space, represents a significant investment in the region. The center provides customers in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa with a fully equipped, non-GMP pilot and bench-scale lab and meeting center where they can work alongside company experts without impacting their production line. The pilot- and bench-scale labs are in a space that simulates a real production environment across their process. Customers operate real equipment, evaluate their processes, and can also take hands-on bioprocessing training courses, educating them on best practices and new approaches to develop, optimize, and scale-up processes as well as simplify global technology transfer.
Merck KGaA also announced that the company management and the Joint Works Council have signed a comprehensive agreement to secure the future viability of company headquarters as a central science and technology hub and to further expand it. The company management and employee representatives have agreed to extend the employment guarantee until the end of 2025, and the company will invest a total of €1 billion (US$1.14 billion) through 2025.
“We believe in the tremendous potential of the Darmstadt site. There is no other Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, site in the world that has so much expertise combined at one location. With our investment commitment, we are permitting additional growth and are creating employment perspectives for tomorrow and beyond,” said Kai Beckmann, CEO of Performance Materials and Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, and the Executive Board member responsible for the Darmstadt site, in the press release. In 2015, the company had stated that it would invest a total of €1 billion at its global headquarters in the following five-year period. “Our aim is to do the right things today in order to ensure that we remain successful as a company tomorrow. Together with the employee representatives, we want to support the changes in our three business sectors here at the Darmstadt site in the best possible way,” Beckmann said in the press release.
The company is considering possible construction of a new membrane plant in Darmstadt. Membranes are used, among other things, in various types of filters, for instance in biopharmaceutical production. The company also plans to construct a Vocational and Advanced Training Center at the site.
Source: Merck KGgA