Merck opens pharma plant and plans to build life science services centre in China

Life Science Centre in Nantong will offer Merck products and services for the pharma, biopharma and life sciences industries

The Nantong Pharma Production site

Science and technology company, Merck KGaA of Darmstadt, Germany inaugurated its €170m Nantong pharmaceutical plant, which is dedicated to producing high-quality pharmaceuticals on China’s Essential Drug List.

At the inauguration ceremony, Merck also announced a further investment of around €80m in a Life Science Centre near the Nantong pharma plant for the manufacture of high-purity inorganic salts, cell culture media products as well as ready-to-use media.

With the latest investment of around €80m, Merck will have invested a total of €250m in its production value chain in China's healthcare sector.

'China is of strategic importance to us as a key driver of our sustainable growth. In line with our long-term commitment to China, we have always been dedicated to localising global expertise to make a meaningful difference to our patients and life science customers,' said Stefan Oschmann, Chairman of the Executive Board and CEO of Merck KGaA in Germany.

'Combining the strengths of our two business sectors Healthcare and Life Science, the Nantong site is a pioneering initiative to foster a comprehensive value chain that will create better access to health, enabling us to support China’s evolving developmental and healthcare priorities.'

The Nantong pharma manufacturing site will produce Merck brands for the treatment of the major chronic diseases diabetes, thyroid disorders and cardiovascular diseases (Glucophage, Euthyrox and Concor ). With the latest €90m investment, the facility will be able to achieve a production capacity of up to 10bn tablets a year by 2021.

The planned Nantong life science centre

The planned Life Science Centre will reinforce the leading position of Merck in inorganic salts for active pharma ingredients and excipients and cell culture media for the pharmaceutical, biopharma and healthcare markets in China as well as ready-to-use media for environmental and sterility testing.

Merck said: 'Life Science plays a key role in providing innovative solutions that address some of China’s most pressing manufacturing needs, from improving lab processes to developing innovative biomanufacturing processes.

'Life Science’s products, tools and expertise in water analytics and microbial testing enable us to make a valuable contribution to China’s water treatment and waste management initiatives,' the company added.

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Merck Group (more information, website)