Merck Serono Biopharmaceutical R&D Facility Expansion, Darmstadt, Germany


New R&D lab for Merck Sonero

Merck Serono laid down the cornerstone for the expansion of the research and development (R&D) facility within the new Pharma Square on the Merck campus in Darmstadt, Germany, in September 2015.



GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) unveiled plans for the construction of a new biopharmaceutical plant in the UK in February 2014.


The expansion includes the construction of a new laboratory building that will accommodate approximately 200 employees to focus on accelerating innovation in R&D.

The new research building construction, which is part of ONE Global Headquarters (OGHQ) strategic initiative, is expected to be completed with an investment of €65m ($73.83m) and is expected to be completed by late 2017.

The OGHQ expansion project, which has been under construction since September 2014, is expected to create an attractive working environment to offer sufficient scope for creativity and innovation when it is completed by 2018. The OGHQ expansion also includes a new 4,000m² modular innovation centre.

Darmstadt biopharmaceutical R&D facility expansion details

The biopharmaceutical research facility expansion at Darmstadt will include a new laboratory building that will span more than 16,000m². The newly expanded facility will unite different functions within R&D Discovery Technologies of Merck, including molecular pharmacology, medicinal chemistry, computational chemistry, molecular interactions and biophysics, protein engineering and antibody technologies, and protein and cell sciences.

The addition of the new laboratory building will be a significant element in the expansion of Merck's global headquarters at Darmstadt.

The new research building will enhance Merck's modern R&D activities in a single area to foster collaboration and innovation across disciplines to create ideal conditions for the advancement of biopharmaceutical pipeline. It will have an open and modern environment, and will be a driver of future growth as it will create new opportunities for discoveries that will bring value to patients and to Merck.

The laboratory building will be constructed in compliance with the current good manufacturing practices (cGMP).

Darmstadt facility product portfolio

The Darmstadt R&D facility is the biggest manufacturing site of the Merck Group and produces pharmaceutical products and organic synthesis, inorganic materials and reagents. The facility has state-of-the-art production facility producing approximately half of all global tablet requirements and integrating scale-up and launch capabilities for future new chemical entities (NCEs).

"The biopharmaceutical research facility expansion at Darmstadt will include a new laboratory building that will span more than 16,000m²."

The portfolio of products produced at the facility include Merck's cardio and metabolic care product range, including Glucophage®, Concor® and Euthyrox®. The site also produces liquid dosage forms, sterile and non-sterile products.

Marketing commentary

Headquartered at Darmstadt, Germany, Merck Serono is a biopharmaceutical business of Merck. The company is engaged in the discovery, development, production and commercialisation of prescription medicines, including chemical and biological origin in specialist indications.

It offers leading brands across 150 countries worldwide to help patients with cancer, multiple sclerosis, infertility, endocrine and metabolic disorders, as well as cardiovascular diseases. It also delivers novel therapies in core focus areas of neurology, oncology, immuno-oncology and immunology. The company operates by the name EMD Serono in the US and Canada.

Merck Serono has more than 2,300 research and development professionals working across four R&D hubs located in Darmstadt, Boston, Tokyo and Beijing. The Darmstadt R&D facility expansion will enhance Merck's innovation in the laboratories to reach the patients in need around the world.