Germany's Merck invests 300 mln euros in life science facility

  • World
  • Friday, 26 Apr 2024

BERLIN, April 25 (Xinhua) -- German pharmaceutical group Merck is set to invest more than 300 million euros (321 million U.S. dollars) in a new life science research center, it announced on Thursday.

"With this strategic investment, we are strengthening our company's leading position in key technologies for the development and manufacture of novel medicines," said CEO of Merck KGaA Belen Garijo, at a ceremony to lay the cornerstone of the center at the company's headquarters in Darmstadt.

Scheduled to start operations in early 2027, the research center will focus on solutions for the production of antibodies, mRNA applications and other products for biotechnological production. It is part of Merck's domestic investment program for a total of 1.5 billion euros by 2025.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said at the ceremony that the investment is "a tribute to Germany as a leading pharmaceutical, industrial and research location, and reflects the strength of the life sciences."

As the country's energy-intensive chemical industry continues to suffer from the aftermath of the energy crisis, the German chemical industry association VCI has said it does not expect production to increase in 2024, while turnover is set to fall by a further 3 percent.

Despite recent successes with COVID-19 vaccines, the country is also at risk of losing its place among world leaders in the pharmaceutical sector "if the framework conditions are not significantly improved," the Association of Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies (vfa) said in February.

The German government approved a national pharmaceutical strategy at the end of last year which aims to drive forward digitalization in the sector and provide incentives for the establishment of production facilities, and promote innovation projects. (1 euro = 1.07 U.S. dollar)

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