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Merck KGaA to build new life science hub in Massachusetts

July 20, 2016
Life sciences

Germany’s Merck KGaA has announced new plans to create a “major hub” for its North American life science business as it prepares to build a new campus in Burlington, MA, but will be leaving its former Billerica base.

The 280,000-square-foot facility (with an option to add an extra 70,000 square feet in the future) will cost around $115 million and should be up and ready by mid-2017. The facility will include a “customer collaboration” lab and training center, according to the company’s statement.

The new center will however see all 850 Billerica-based employees of MilliporeSigma, the U.S. unit of Merck, move into the facility–replacing its Billerica campus with what will be bigger and more “state-of-the-art” digs.

MilliporeSigma added however that it will maintain its other North American life science hub in St. Louis, Missouri.

“This new and more expansive MilliporeSigma campus gives us a unique, multiuse life science hub in the United States–one that provides our employees and customers with a sustainable and collaborative working environment,” said Udit Batra, CEO of MilliporeSigma, in the statement.

This campus will house what the company calls an “M Lab Collaboration Center,” which is essentially a shared space for its scientists and engineers work together with their life science customers.

The M Lab Collaboration Center will be one of 9 centers worldwide created specifically for collaboration, which includes training and customer experiments. Other locations will include Brazil, China, France, India, Singapore and South Korea, the biotech said.

“For nearly a decade, Merck KGaA has built a significant presence in Massachusetts and we are extremely pleased to support their expansion in Burlington through the MassWorks Infrastructure Program,” added Gov. Charlie Baker in the statement.

“Building long-lasting public-private partnerships is vital to growing our economy, and the MilliporeSigma campus represents significant investment and confidence in our shared future as a global life science center.”

Merck has a number of businesses and units which focus on manufacturing, biosimilars, consumer health and life science R&D. The company has recently been ramping up its R&D focus, with a near $900 million deal struck with Pfizer a few years back to further development of its checkpoint inhibitor candidate.

By Ben Adams

Source: Fierce Biotech

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