Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, Invests € 290 Million in U.S. Drug Safety Testing Capacity

Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, invests more than € 290 million in its biosafety testing capacity at Rockville, Maryland, USA.

16 Nov 2022 | Darmstadt, Germany
  • Responds to growing global demand for biosafety testing as essential requirement for drug development and commercialization
  • Expansion creates more than 500 new jobs in Rockville, Maryland, USA
  • Strategic investment in Life Science Services business, part of the company’s “Big 3” growth drivers
  • Represents the largest biosafety testing investment in history of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany

Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, a leading science and technology company, invests more than € 290 million in its biosafety testing capacity at Rockville, Maryland, USA. This will significantly increase the company’s ability to conduct biosafety testing and analytical development services. Biosafety testing and analytical development are critical and fundamental requirements of the drug development and commercialization process to ensure the safety of medicines. Global demand for these services is growing at a double-digit rate.

“Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, is harnessing its broad portfolio of modern technologies and enabling services to help ensure the safety of the world’s medicines. These significant investments in Rockville and other sites across our global network will help us meet growing demand for the robust testing studies that biologics manufacturers depend upon to comply with stringent regulatory guidelines,” said Belén Garijo, Chair of the Executive Board and CEO of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany. “This is a prime example of our focus on sustainable growth in areas with strong underlying upwards dynamics.”

“This is the largest investment in contract testing in the history of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany. Our Rockville campus has a long track record of testing for both traditional and novel therapies. We have been driving innovation in biosafety testing for 75 years and this expansion enables us to lead in shaping the future of testing,” said Matthias Heinzel, Member of the Executive Board of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, and CEO Life Science. “We thank the State of Maryland and Montgomery County, Maryland, for their collaboration in making this new campus a reality for our employees and clients. Together, we are impacting life and health with science.”

The BioReliance® contract testing portfolio from Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, provides best-in-class biosafety testing and analytical development methods for both traditional and novel therapies. The new state-of-the-art, 23,000-square-meter facility at the company’s Rockville site will house biosafety testing, analytical development, viral clearance suites, and cell bank manufacturing services. Currently, about 600 employees work at the site. Over the next four years, the expansion will create more than 500 new jobs.

With more than 30 years of drug development, material science and process technology expertise, Millipore® CTDMO Services offerings span pre-clinical development to commercial manufacturing, including testing, across multiple modalities including mAbs, highly potent active pharmaceutical ingredients, antibody-drug conjugates, viral vector therapies, mRNA, and lipid nanoparticle formulation.

Contract testing and the newly formed Millipore® CTDMO Services are part of the Life Science Services business unit, which together with the Process Solutions business is one of the “Big 3” growth drivers of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany. The company aims to increase its Group sales to approximately € 25 billion by 2025.

Recently, the Life Science business sector of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, announced investments in Martillac and Molsheim, France; Shanghai, China; Sheboygan and Verona, Wisconsin, USA; Cork, Ireland; Wuxi, China; Carlsbad, California, USA; Jaffrey, New Hampshire and Danvers, Massachusetts, USA; Buchs, Switzerland; and Darmstadt, Germany. These expansions are part of an ambitious, multi-year program. It aims to increase the capacity and capabilities of the company’s Life Science business sector to support the growing global demand for lifesaving medications and to make significant contributions to public health.

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About Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany

Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, a leading science and technology company, operates across life science, healthcare and electronics. More than 60,000 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 providing products and services that accelerate drug development and manufacturing as well as discovering unique ways to treat the most challenging diseases to enabling the intelligence of devices – the company is everywhere. In 2021, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, generated sales of € 19.7 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 MilliporeSigma in life science, EMD Serono in healthcare and EMD Electronics in electronics. Since its founding in 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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