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Merck, a pharmaceutical company based in Germany, is building a biotech development facility in Corsier-sur-Vevey, Switzerland, with an estimated investment of €250m ($275.5m).
The facility will focus on the development of biotech medicines and manufacturing for clinical studies. The company celebrated the ground-breaking ceremony of the facility in January 2020.
The new biotech development centre is being developed as a hub that will bridge the research and production of newly discovered medications.
Investment in the facility will be made between 2019 and 2022, while construction is scheduled to be completed by 2021, and operations are expected for commencement by the end of 2022, upon receiving regulatory approvals.
Merck biotech development facility location
The facility is close to the company’s existing biotech commercial manufacturing centre in Corsier-sur-Vevey, Switzerland.
It will include a building with a total area of approximately 15,700m², with operations supported by around 250 employees currently operating in different locations. The cross-functional team will work on speeding-up the availability of advanced biotech therapies for clinical trials.
Details of Merck biotech development facility in Switzerland
The facility will also incorporate advanced technological and digital solutions.
Merck plans to leverage automation in manufacturing and laboratory processes. The facility will have flexible design features and open workspaces to allow the team to collaborate and innovate. It will meet international standards in terms of environment, health, quality and safety.
The centre will also feature process solutions provided by the company’s Life Sciences business to support clinical manufacturing and pilot plant operations.
Sustainability and energy management
Sustainable features, such as efficient energy management system, will feature at the centre. The design will allow ample natural light to enter the building.
Dynamic liquid crystal windows designed by Merck’s Performance Materials’ eyrise™ brand will be installed in the facility to regulate daylight quality and reduce energy costs, while unique habitats will protect flora and wildlife.
Merck’s existing manufacturing sites in Switzerland
Merck operates in nine locations in Switzerland to carry out its business activities in healthcare, life sciences and performance materials. The company has five manufacturing sites in the country, including two dedicated to its Healthcare business and three under the Life Science business.
The Aubonne and Corsier-sur-Vevey manufacturing sites are engaged in manufacturing biotech medicines. Operations at the Aubonne facility include the production of drug substances in the field of fertility, process development of drug substances and fill-and-finish and packaging.
The existing Corsier-sur-Vevey facility is involved in drug substance process development and manufacturing of drug substances for the treatment of oncology, multiple sclerosis and immuno-oncology.
In the Life Sciences field, the company’s Buchs, Schaffhausen and Altdorf facilities in the country are specialised in the manufacturing and development of pharmaceutical raw materials, analytical standards, drug delivery compounds and active pharmaceutical ingredients.
Marketing commentary on Merck
Merck is a multi-national pharmaceutical, life sciences and chemicals company. Founded in 1668, the company is headquartered in Darmstadt, Germany and operates through three business segments, life sciences, performance materials and healthcare.
The company has approximately 56,000 employees in 66 locations worldwide. Its key therapeutic areas include oncology, immuno-oncology, fertility, immunology, neurology and global health.
Merck has 2,427 employees across its Swiss sites. The firm invested more than Sfr1bn ($1.02bn) in the Swiss facilities between 2007 and 2017.
As a result of the nationalisation of Merck & Co. by the US Government in 1917, Merck & Co holds the trademark rights to the MERCK name and operates as a separate entity. Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, has the rights over MERCK trademark in the rest of the world. In the US and Canada, the company operates as EMD Serono in biopharma and as Millipore Sigma in the life science business.
Merck manufactures more than 750 life science products using green chemistry technologies.
The proposed investment in the Swiss facility builds on the company’s recent investments in the areas of research, development, and manufacturing. The company has invested in the expansions of the pharma manufacturing facility in Darmstadt, biotech manufacturing site in Aubonne and research and development (R&D) centre in Billerica, US.
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