Merck opens new pharmaceutical plant in China; invests € 250 mn

Merck opens new pharmaceutical plant in China; invests € 250 mn

12:00 PM, 4th November 2016
Merck opens new pharmaceutical plant in China; invests € 250 mn

DARMSTADT, GERMANY / NANTONG, CHINA: Merck has opened its € 170 million pharmaceutical plant which is dedicated to producing high-quality pharmaceuticals in Nantong, China.

In addition, the company said that it has further invested around € 80 million in a life science centre near the Nantong pharmaceutical plant to manufacture high-purity inorganic salts, cell culture media products as well as ready-to-use media.

The € 80 million investment in the pharmaceutical plant was already announced in 2013 and has been realised.

The first drugs from the plant are expected to be delivered to patients in the second half of 2017. Along with the investment of around € 80 million by the life science business sector of Merck, this adds up to a total of investment of € 250 million in its production value chain in China to create better access to health.

These strategic investments further support Merck's expansion in China, which is expected to become the world’s second-largest pharmaceutical market by 2018 and enables the company to support the goals of China’s 13th Five Year Plan by investing in technology and developing local talent.

The Nantong pharmaceutical manufacturing site will focus on the production of Glucophage, Euthyrox and Concor, Merck’s leading brands for the treatment of the major chronic diseases diabetes, thyroid disorders and cardiovascular diseases.

Additionally, the company announced next investment of € 90 million, that represents the next phase of Merck’s pharmaceutical production plans for China to meet forecast increased demand for medicines to be produced at the site. With this investment, the facility is designed to accommodate full production capacity of up to 10 billion tablets a year by 2021.

The pharmaceutical manufacturing site currently employs 180 people and the workforce is expected to increase to more than 400 by 2021. The Nantong site is designed to comply with the highest international standards in terms of quality, environment, health and safety. The site has invested in standard-setting wastewater treatment and disposal aimed at minimising the environmental footprint of its operation to the local communities.

“Combining the strengths of our two business sectors Healthcare and Life Science, the Nantong site is a pioneering initiative to foster a comprehensive value chain that will create better access to health, enabling Merck to support China’s evolving developmental and healthcare priorities,” said Stefan Oschmann, Chairman of the Executive Board and CEO of Merck.

“With our new state-of-the-art pharmaceutical production, Merck is transforming from an import-based company to a full-fledged local industry player in China. When the plant is fully up and running, we will have created new jobs for more than 400 highly skilled employees,” added Marc Horn, managing director of the biopharma business of Merck in China.

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