US-based pharmaceutical company Merck will increase its manufacturing capabilities for the Mobius® single-use portfolio with an investment of more than €130m ($129.1m) in Molsheim, France. The single-use technology is crucial for the production of Covid-19 vaccines and other life-saving therapeutics.
Molsheim is the company’s first site in Europe for manufacturing the Mobius products. The expansion will help the company achieve its target of increasing Merck Group’s sales to around €25bn by 2025 by strengthening Merck’s ‘Big Three’ sectors (process solutions, new healthcare products and semiconductor solutions), which are its key growth drivers.
The facility will be operational by the end of 2024 and will increase to full production from 2024 to 2028, generating more than 800 jobs.
The single-use technology market has grown in recent years due to biopharmaceutical manufacturers’ increasing interest in them, citing their flexibility, cost savings, speed, and reduced risk of contamination.
Merck’s manufacturing facility expansion details
Merck’s Molsheim plant will be expanded with 3,500m2 ISO7 cleanrooms, an administrative building, and a new logistics warehouse to meet the needs of new and existing clients worldwide.
The expansion will increase the site’s manufacturing capacity for single-use assemblies in the Mobius portfolio, following the addition of a single-use assembly production unit at its Life Science Centre in Molsheim in March 2021. The previous expansion required a €25m investment.
The expansion will support the company’s Life Science business strategy to invest in products and technologies across its portfolio, which are crucial for the manufacturing of new therapies and vaccines.
Mobius single-use portfolio details
The Mobius portfolio offers filtration and separation solutions such as buffer and media preparation, bioreactor, clarification, chromatography, virus clearance, ultrafiltration and diafiltration, and formulation and fill for single-use manufacturing.
The purification technologies are used for fluid management in a range of upstream and downstream processes, from standard buffer and media preparation to premium aseptic process and final medication manufacturing.
Merck’s subsidiary MilliporeSigma launched the Mobius MyWay portfolio in March 2017. It is a programme designed to provide greater flexibility, improved supply consistency, and shorter lead times for more efficient and safer biomanufacturing.
The Mobius MyWay portfolio offers single-use assemblies with off-the-shelf and configure-to-order assemblies, as well as fully customisable combinations. They provide high-volume custom assemblies with monitored raw material and finished-good supply levels, comprehensive documentation for fast and easy implementation, and a component library for greater customisation.
Past expansions of the Molsheim facility
In March 2021, Merck’s Life Science Centre in Molsheim, France, was expanded with 1,700m² ISO7 or ISO5 cleanrooms, utilising modular building design and existing infrastructure with minimal disruption to allow future expansions.
The additional unit manufactures Mobius single-use assemblies, a crucial part of Merck’s Mobius MyWay programme used for the manufacturing of Covid-19 vaccines and other life-saving therapies. The expansion created more than 350 jobs at the facility.
Marketing commentary on Merck
Merck is working on diverse therapeutic areas and gene-editing and other technologies to treat the most challenging diseases.
The company currently employs 60,000 employees worldwide. It has set a target of becoming carbon-neutral by 2040 as part of its sustainability plan.
Merck’s expansion projects in target countries, including Germany, France, Switzerland, Ireland, China and the US, are in line with its sustainability plan, with clear targets for water consumption, waste management, and energy efficiency.
The firm has pledged to halve its absolute direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 to contribute to the Paris Agreement’s goal of limiting global warming to 1.5°C.