Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, Announces Acquisition of AmpTec to Expand mRNA Capabilities for Vaccines, Treatments and Diagnostics

Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, today announced the acquisition of AmpTec, a leading Hamburg, Germany-based, mRNA contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO).

07 Jan 2021 | Darmstadt, Germany
  • Adds to company’s lipid manufacturing expertise, providing an integrated offering across mRNA value chain
  • AmpTec’s differentiated polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based technology has shown to have advantages over other technologies for mRNA manufacturing
  • Diagnostics business focused on producing customized long RNAs and DNAs for in vitro diagnostics, complements Life Science business’ existing portfolio

Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, a leading science and technology company, today announced the acquisition of AmpTec, a leading Hamburg, Germany-based, mRNA contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO). The deal strengthens the capabilities of its Life Science business to develop and manufacture mRNA for its customers for use in vaccines, treatments and diagnostics applicable in Covid-19 and many other diseases. Financial terms were not disclosed.

“The success of mRNA-based vaccines for Covid-19 lays the path to accelerate the development of these therapeutics for many other diseases,” said Stefan Oschmann, Chairman of the Executive Board and CEO of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany. “By combining AmpTec’s PCR-based mRNA technology with our extensive expertise in lipids manufacturing, we are able to provide a truly differentiated and integrated offering across the mRNA value chain, which will significantly decrease supply chain complexity and enhance speed-to-market. This transaction is another important step to support the constant growth of our Life Science business through tailored, small-scale acquisitions with high impact.”

“Last year, AmpTec celebrated its fifteenth anniversary, and this acquisition marks an exciting new chapter for our company,” said Guido Krupp and Peter Scheinert, managing directors and founders of AmpTec. “AmpTec’s more than 40 employees are thrilled to join Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, and are confident that our PCR-based technology and combined expertise will allow us to offer customers innovative technologies, products and services to help advance life-enhancing therapeutics.”

Lipids, which are part of the SAFC® portfolio of the Life Science business of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, constitute one of the critical components for the formulation of mRNA therapeutics including Covid-19 vaccines. The Life Science business of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, with more than 20 years’ experience in this space, is collaborating with more than 50 vaccine manufacturers – some of which use mRNA for their products – to support their efforts in the development and production of Covid-19 vaccines, treatments and services.

PCR technology is another important component of mRNA manufacturing. AmpTec uses a differentiated PCR-based technology for mRNA manufacturing, which has shown to have advantages over other manufacturing technologies, including:

  • Advantages in homogeneity, purity, activity and flexibility.
  • Higher quality and improved performance.
  • Flexible capping options to reach specific performance requirements.

In addition to specializing in mRNA technology, AmpTec has a diagnostics business that focuses on producing customized long RNAs and DNAs for in vitro diagnostics. It will complement the company’s diagnostics business, which specializes in providing critical raw materials, components and services for in vitro diagnostics manufacturers. The Life Science business’ molecular materials portfolio includes custom and predesigned DNA oligos and probes for a variety of applications such as PCR, next generation sequencing and microarray production.

Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, is continuing to invest in mRNA as a modality and will scale up this technology both at AmpTec’s existing site in Hamburg and at its global headquarters in Darmstadt, Germany.

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About Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany

Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, a leading science and technology company, operates across healthcare, life science and performance materials. Around 58,000 employees work to make a positive difference to millions of people’s lives every day by creating more joyful and sustainable ways to live. From advancing gene editing technologies and discovering unique ways to treat the most challenging diseases to enabling the intelligence of devices – the company is everywhere. In 2019, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, generated sales of € 16.2 billion in 66 countries.

The company holds the global rights to the name and trademark “Merck” internationally. The only exceptions are the United States and Canada, where the business sectors of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany operate as EMD Serono in healthcare, MilliporeSigma in life science, and EMD Performance Materials. Since its founding 1668, scientific exploration and responsible entrepreneurship have been key to the company’s technological and scientific advances. To this day, the founding family remains the majority owner of the publicly listed company.

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