Merck KGaA Invests € 300m for New Research Centre in Darmstadt, Germany

Merck KGaA (Merck) announced an investment today of more than €300 Million ($320.8m) in a new Life Science Research Centre at its global headquarters in Darmstadt, Germany. The investment is part of Merck’s broader €1.5bn commitment to the Darmstadt site by 2025.

Merck KGaA, the prominent German multinational science and technology company, is investing more than € 300 million in a new research centre at its global headquarters in Darmstadt, Germany. In the Advanced Research Centre, the Life Science business sector will research solutions for manufacturing antibodies, mRNA applications and additional products required for biotechnological production, among other things. As of the start of 2027, it will provide space for around 550 employees.

Today, Merck laid the cornerstone for the facility alongside German Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz. This initiative is part of Merck’s broader investment program in the Darmstadt site, totalling around €1.5 billion by 2025.

Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz commented:

“Investments such as those made by Merck here at its headquarters in Darmstadt make tremendous economic, medical and scientific sense. They are a tribute to Germany as a leading pharmaceutical, industrial and research location and reflect the strength of the life sciences. All of this proves that we are on the right track with the changes that we have made with a view to offering the pharmaceutical and biotech industry better conditions. The German Government will continue to tread this path with all due resolve.”

Belén Garijo, Chair of the Executive Board and CEO of Merck stated:

“With this strategic investment, we are strengthening the leading position of Merck in key technologies for the development and manufacture of novel medicines. As a leading provider of life science technologies, we continue to invest in research and development ‘Made in Germany’. In doing so, we are enabling scientific progress for the benefit of millions of patients and customers around the world.”

Research solutions for antibodies, mRNA, recombinant proteins, viral vectors, cell culture media and pharmaceutical formulation and purification aids

The Advanced Research Centre brings together research on key technologies of the Life Science business sector of Merck. These include raw materials and processes for researching and manufacturing antibodies, recombinant proteins and viral vectors. The company also researches cell culture media and pharmaceutical formulation and purification aids as well as digital reference materials. In addition, the scientists are developing analytical chromatography further. This is a method for separating, identifying and quantifying chemical substances in a sample. Research along the mRNA value chain will also be based at the new centre.

With the Advanced Research Center, Merck is supporting its customers in Europe and globally when it comes to finding solutions for crucial medical challenges. Antibodies and recombinant proteins are used to treat cancer, autoimmune diseases and infectious diseases, among other things. Viral vectors are predominantly used in gene therapies and vaccines while mRNA is currently being researched mainly for vaccines and cancer treatments. Research on these therapies is developing rapidly and is constantly opening up new application possibilities. In the area of mRNA alone, more than 740 clinical trials are currently in progress globally.

With around 18,000 square meters, the Advanced Research Centre enables collaboration across departments in an open, modern work environment. Merck is planning almost carbon-neutral research operations. The energy supply is based on photovoltaics, geothermal energy and air-source heat pumps. The specially designed facades and the green roofs also help to save energy and improve the microclimate. The building is striving for gold certification from the German Sustainable Building Council.

The Darmstadt site is one of the most important Merck centres for research and development in life science technologies. In the next ten years, approximately one-fifth of the Life Science business sector’s sales with new products are estimated to come from here. Since 2020, Merck has announced investments of more than € 2 billion in the business sector globally. The objective is to expand Life Science’s capacities and capabilities to meet the increasing global needs for medicines.

Investments at the Darmstadt site

Darmstadt has been Merck’s headquarters for 355 years. In recent years, Merck has announced or implemented the following construction projects, among others:

  • € 300 million: Life Science Advanced Research Center
  • € 200 million: Translational Science Center, a new research centre for the Healthcare business sector
  • € 160 million: Healthcare’s Launch and Technology Center, designed to help make new and urgently
    needed drugs available more quickly
  • € 140 million: Production facility for membranes for aseptic filters
  • € 70 million: New education and training centre
  • € 24 million: GMP-compliant manufacturing plant for mRNA active ingredients
  • € 12 million: 4th purification stage as part of the central wastewater treatment, which further
    increases the plant’s current purification performance of already up to 98%
  • € 10.6 million: Fitness and health centre for employees

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