Merck KGaA’s Life Science business in the US and Canada, MilliporeSigma, has entered a definitive agreement to acquire Mirus Bio in a $600m (€500m) deal.

The move aims to enhance Merck’s capabilities in viral vector manufacturing for cell and gene therapies.

MilliporeSigma specialises in developing and commercialising transfection re-agents known as TransIT-VirusGEN, which are crucial for introducing genetic material into cells.

The re-agents are pivotal in manufacturing viral vectors, a key component in the development of cell and gene therapies.

Merck’s Life Science business sector provides the pharmaceutical industry with high-grade chemicals, vital tools and consumables to expedite scientific discoveries.

The acquisition will aid Merck in offering comprehensive solutions for every stage of viral vector manufacturing and support the advancement of cell and gene therapies from preclinical phases to commercial production.

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Merck’s expertise spans viral vector types including adeno-associated virus, lentivirus and adenovirus.

The company provides contract testing services and extensive contract development and manufacturing services for viral vector manufacturing.

Merck unveiled its second €100m viral vector contract development manufacturing facility in Carlsbad, California, US in 2021 to boost large-scale commercial and industrial manufacturing of viral gene therapies.

The deal with Gamma Biosciences to acquire Mirus Bio is expected to conclude in the third quarter of 2024.

Merck executive board chair and CEO Belén Garijo stated: “This strategic acquisition is a further building block for accelerating growth in the breakthrough technologies of the future. As a leader in the production of viral vectors, our goal is to make the significant potential of cell and gene therapy available for patients worldwide.

“As a leading science and technology company, we are well-positioned to support our life science customers across the biopharmaceutical industry to bring new curative treatments to market.”

In April 2024, the company announced an investment of €300m in a new life science research centre at its global headquarters in Darmstadt, Germany.

Cell & Gene Therapy coverage on Pharmaceutical Technology is supported by Cytiva.

Editorial content is independently produced and follows the highest standards of journalistic integrity. Topic sponsors are not involved in the creation of editorial content.