Merck KGaA announced an investment of €250 million euros in a new facility in Corsier-sur-Vevey, Switzerland – the Merck Biotech Development Center – dedicated to biotech development and manufacturing.
Driven by the growth of the Healthcare business sector R&D pipeline, this investment will help to sustainably secure capacity and high agility to deliver clinical trial material in a cost-effective way, contribute to accelerated development timelines of new biological entities, and address the increasing manufacturing complexity of the next generations of biotech compounds.
“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,” said Stefan Oschmann, Chairman of the Executive Board and CEO of Merck, at the groundbreaking ceremony for the new facility held today.
“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,” said Belén Garijo, Member of the Executive Board of Merck and CEO Healthcare.
Located near Merck’s current biotech commercial manufacturing site in Corsier-sur-Vevey, Switzerland, the Biotech Development Center will bridge together research and manufacturing. The facility will consist of a building providing a total of 15,700 square meters of development space bringing together a cross-functional team of approximately 250 employees spread across different sites today, responsible for advancing Merck’s biotech R&D pipeline by ensuring that Merck’s next generation of biotech therapies are available for clinical trials on time, on quality and on quantity.
Equipped with advanced digital solutions, including continuous manufacturing and laboratory automation, the Biotech Development Center will offer a flexible-by-design infrastructure to readily adapt to emerging needs and technology evolution, as well as open workspaces enabling collaboration, creativity and innovation. Everything will be designed to comply with the highest international standards of quality, environment, health and safety.
The Biotech Development Center will showcase Merck’s science and technology across its three business sectors, including Life Sciences’ process solutions for clinical manufacturing and pilot plant operations, as well as Performance Materials’ eyrise dynamic liquid crystal windows as part of the highly efficient energy management of the building. The construction of the building is expected to be completed in 2021 and the Biotech Development Center is anticipated to be fully operational by the end of 2022 following validation by regulatory authorities.
By Mary Page Bailey
Source: Chemical Engineering
Big Pharma has long seen the potential for AI and machine learning to accelerate drug development. But Novo Nordisk is going a step further by channeling $200 million toward the creation of a computer that will outrun anything in existence.
Current methods for diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease rely on a complex combination of self- and caregiver-reported symptoms, a physical examination and either a PET scan or a spinal tap to look for evidence of amyloid plaque build-ups in the brain. But a new artificial intelligence-based method may make the diagnostic process a much more objective one.
There is lots of talk about diversity and inclusion in business, including in pharma and medtech. A new report by the Open Political Economy Network (OPEN), a think tank focusing on migration and diversity, released its “Minority Businesses Matter: Europe” report highlighting the successes and challenges of ethnic minority-owned businesses in Europe.