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MilliporeSigma Announces the Investment of More Than €440 Million and Expansion of Membrane and Filtration Manufacturing in Ireland

News Release

  • Company to invest in two major Life Science projects over five years
  • Significantly increases membrane manufacturing capacities and enables construction of new filtration manufacturing facility
  • Supports the company’s strategy to invest in products and technologies across its portfolio that are key to manufacturing novel therapies, vaccines and diagnostics
  • Investment creates more than 370 jobs by the end of 2027

Mockup of future Cork, Ireland expansionBurlington, Massachusetts, May 23, 2022 – MilliporeSigma, the U.S. and Canada Life Science business of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, a leading science and technology company, today announced that the Life Science business is expanding its membrane and filtration manufacturing capabilities in Ireland. The Life Science business of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany will invest approximately €440 million to increase membrane manufacturing capacity in Carrigtwohill and to build a new manufacturing facility at Blarney Business Park, both in Cork, Ireland. The investment, which is the largest in a single site ever for the Life Science business sector, will create more than 370 permanent jobs by the end of 2027.

“This €440 million expansion of our Cork site, together with other major investments worldwide, will further enhance the value that our company can deliver to customers throughout the development and production of their specialized medicines, vaccines and diagnostics,” said Belén Garijo, Chair of the Executive Board and CEO of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany.

“Ireland is central to our strategy to drive long-term growth and expand our global leadership position in the Life Science business,” said Matthias Heinzel, Member of the Executive Board of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany and CEO Life Science. “The investment in Cork is the biggest site investment in the history of our Life Science business and will accelerate the delivery of the critical products, technologies and services our customers need to fight the world’s toughest health challenges, including COVID-19.”

Speaking at the site’s official announcement, Irish Prime Minister Micheál Martin said: “I welcome today’s very significant announcement from the Life Science business of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, which underlines the company’s commitment to doing business in Ireland. This investment, the largest in the history of the Life Science business, speaks volumes about our capacity to provide the right conditions for multinational organizations to grow their operations. Ireland’s development of a strong life sciences ecosystem has been one of our greatest economic successes. I am delighted that the company has chosen Cork for its latest investment. I wish the team continued success, as they work towards improving lives around the world.”

At Blarney Business Park, the Life Science business is going to build a new filtration manufacturing facility for almost €150 million. Once fully operational, it will increase the company’s global manufacturing capacity and supply customers producing both traditional and novel treatments and therapeutics.

With the more than €290 million expansion in Carrigtwohill, the company is adding a manufacturing facility for the immersion casting of membranes. These membranes support novel and gene therapies, as well as applications like virus sterilisation.

The announcement follows a €36 million investment at the same site in 2021 for a second lateral flow membrane manufacturing product line. Now formally open, this facility produces lateral flow membranes, most commonly used in rapid diagnostic testing for rare diseases such as dengue fever, malaria and Ebola. They are also a key component in rapid antigen tests, which are used for the detection of COVID-19.

The membranes also serve the Process Solutions business, which is one of the “Big 3” growth drivers for the company and markets products and services for the entire pharmaceutical manufacturing value chain. Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany aims to increase its Group sales to approximately €25 billion by 2025. To achieve its growth targets, the company plans to increase its total investments between 2021 and 2025 significantly compared with the period from 2016 to 2020.

The Life Science business sector is continuing to invest in products and technologies across its portfolio that are key to manufacturing novel therapies and vaccines, including single-use solutions, high-potency active pharmaceutical ingredients (HP-APIs) and novel modalities, such as antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) and viral and gene therapies (VGTs).

Over the next five years, the company will implement investment programs worldwide. Target countries include Germany, China, France, Switzerland, Ireland and the USA. All expansion projects include clear targets for water consumption, waste management, and energy efficiency to support the company in meeting its goal to be climate-neutral by 2040, in line with its sustainability strategy.

Recently, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany announced expansion projects in its Life Science business sector in Wuxi, China; Darmstadt, Germany; Buchs, Switzerland; Molsheim, France, Carlsbad, California, USA; Madison, Wisconsin, USA; Jaffrey, New Hampshire, USA; and Danvers, Massachusetts, USA. These expansions are part of an ambitious, multi-year program to increase the industrial capacity and capabilities of the Life Science business sector to support the growing global demand for lifesaving medications and to make significant contributions to public health.

About the Life Science business of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany

The Life Science business of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, which operates as MilliporeSigma in the U.S. and Canada, has more than 26,000 employees and more than 55 total manufacturing and testing sites worldwide, with a portfolio of more than 300,000 products focused on scientific discovery, biomanufacturing and testing services. Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, a leading science and technology company, operates across healthcare, life science and electronics.

Around 60,000 employees work to make a positive difference to millions of people’s lives every day by creating more joyful and sustainable ways to live. From advancing gene-editing technologies and discovering unique ways to treat the most challenging diseases to enabling the intelligence of devices – the company is everywhere. In 2021, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany generated sales of € 19.7 billion in 66 countries.

The company holds the global rights to the name and trademark “Merck” internationally. The only exceptions are the United States and Canada, where the business sectors of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany operate as EMD Serono in healthcare, MilliporeSigma in life science, and EMD Electronics. Since its founding in 1668, scientific exploration and responsible entrepreneurship have been key to the company’s technological and scientific advances. To this day, the founding family remains the majority owner of the publicly listed company. For more information about Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, visit www.emdgroup.com.

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