Merck Serono to Build New Manufacturing Facility in Local China

Nov. 19 – The biopharmaceutical company Merck Serono will play a part in its development strategy in China, as the company seeks to complete its industry value chain and expand into the grassroots market, Merck Serono is investing 80 million euros to build a new pharmaceutical manufacturing facility site in Nantong, China, scheduled to start in 2014, will be completed by 2016, to begin commercial production in 2017.

The new facility, which will be the second-largest plant for the German group’s Merck Serono unit, will focus on the bulk production and packaging of its Glucophage (metformin) diabetes products, the beta blocker Concor (bisoprolol) franchise and the thyroid treatment Euthyrox (levothyroxine). For now, the factory will become the second-largest of Merck’s global pharmaceutical manufacturing sites.

According to Allan Gabor – managing director of Merck Serono in China, “with our research center, our development capabilities, our commercial presence and this new manufacturing facility, we are building for the future in China by investing across our value chain,” The new facility will cover an area of 40,000 square meters, with a possible 20,000 sq. m extension. The firm signed an oncology pact with BeiGene last week; it’s the second deal in the latest development with the Beijing-headquartered company.

Belen Garijo, Merck Serono chief executive, said that the investment reflects a “long-term commitment to the country where our group has been present for 80 years”, that Merck Serono is one of the first multinationals “investing in a local site focused on the manufacturing of medicines referenced in China’s essential drug list, and serve the country’s expanding healthcare needs in the areas of diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and thyroid disorders”.

China’s pharmaceutical market has maintained annual growth of more than 20 percent for seven consecutive years. China’s pharmaceutical market will probably grow 19 to 22 percent annually over the next five years and will probably be valued at $115 billion by 2015, according to the medical care research institute IMS Health. China is among the top 10 for Merck Serono’s global business. Merck is also looking to improve its access to the Chinese market by teaming up with local companies in China. For “China Pharmaceutical Market Report 2013-2015” available upon request, contact with DCCC or mail to: info@dccchina.org