Merck Serono has announced plans to extend its global research and development footprint in China by investing more than €150m and building an R&D centre in Beijing.

The centre will lead drug development for China and other Asian countries, with a strong focus on biomarker research including pharmacogenomics and bioanalytics.

The centre will be involved in hosting local clinical trials as well as participating in global clinical trials and collaborating with local academic institutions and companies.

Merck Serono President Elmar Schnee said that the creation of the Chinese R&D centre marked a new milestone in Merck Serono’s commitment to China.

“We are committed to investing in areas that can help China to address some of its public health needs that currently are not met,” Schnee said.

The Chinese R&D centre will join Merck Serono’s worldwide network of key hubs in Germany, Switzerland and the United States.