Merck Serono, the biopharmaceutical division of Merck, held a groundbreaking ceremony for its new pharmaceutical manufacturing facility in Nantong, China. The new facility, which will be the Group’s second-largest pharmaceutical manufacturing facility worldwide, will focus on the bulk production and packaging of Glucophage®, Concor® and Euthyrox®, Merck Serono’s leading brands for the treatment of diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and thyroid disorders, respectively. These medicines are referenced in China’s essential drug list, making Merck Serono the first and only multinational company in China to dedicate a large scale green-field investment to the production of drugs on the list, comprising medicines that address public healthcare needs and must be available at all times.
The new pharmaceutical manufacturing plant is located in the Nantong Economical Technological Development Area (NETDA), in the Greater Shanghai region (Yangtze River Delta area). Based in NETDA’s BioSpark zone, a high-tech industrial park designed to accommodate life science enterprises, the plant represents an investment of € 80 million and will be Merck’s largest manufacturing facility outside of Europe. The new facility will cover an area of 40,000 square meters, with a possible 20,000 square meters extension. The construction of the site is scheduled to be completed in 2016, with commercial production starting in 2017. The site is designed to comply with the highest international standards in terms of quality, as well as environment, health and safety. The preservation of the environment is a critical consideration in the facility’s construction, with a maximization of resource efficiency and minimized waste generation in the course of the manufacturing process.
“We firmly believe that complying with the highest quality, environment, health and safety standards is a natural commitment to the communities where we operate, as well as a prerequisite to ensuring the availability of high-quality medicines for patients,” said E. Allan Gabor, President and Chief Executive Officer of Merck Serono China. “By building our new facility in the great city of Nantong, we are committing our resources to the clear objective that our drugs be made more readily available for hospitals, doctors and patients in China. This emphasis is part of a greater goal to promote not just better access to medicines, but better access to health for every person in this country. This is a key goal for China, and this is Merck Serono’s commitment.”