German biopharma giant Merck is investing EUR 250 million in a new Swiss biotech development facility; underscoring the company’s reliance on Switzerland for the manufacturing of advanced biologicals.
The Merck Biotech Development Center is to be located in Corsier-sur-Vevey, south-western Switzerland, close to the firm’s existing biotech commercial manufacturing site and aims to be a bridge between Merck’s research and manufacturing arms.
The new site will hold 15,700 m2 of development space and will gather together around 250 employees currently spread across different sites. The aim is to advance Merck’s biotech R&D pipeline by ensuring that the company’s next generation of biotech therapies are available for clinical trials on time, are of a high quality, and of sufficient quantity.
Stefan Oschmann, Merck’s chairman of the executive board and CEO, told the watching crowd at the facility’s groundbreaking ceremony in January 2020 that, “This investment in the Merck Biotech Development Center reflects our commitment to speed up the availability of new medicines for patients in need, and confirms the importance of Switzerland as our prime hub for the manufacturing of biotech medicines.”
Belén Garijo, another member of the executive board and CEO of Merck’s healthcare business confidently added that, “Our investment in this biotech development facility in Switzerland is strongly related to the growth and progression of our Healthcare pipeline, and our confidence in its future potential.”
Merck is aiming to put together a truly state-of-the-art research facility equipped with advanced digital solutions, including continuous manufacturing and laboratory automation. The Center will offer a flexible-by-design infrastructure to readily adapt to emerging needs and technology evolution, as well as open workspaces with the goal of enabling collaboration, creativity and innovation.
Construction is slated for completion in 2021 and Merck is anticipating that the facility will be fully operational by the end of 2022.