Irvine, Scotland, May 27, 2019 — Merck, a leading science and technology company, today announced the completion of a £2.7 million expansion to its Irvine biopharmaceutical production facility. The site is Merck’s only location where both liquid and powder cell culture media are manufactured.
“This investment in additional capacity will serve customers’ growing needs and demonstrates Merck’s commitment to the Scottish and the UK economies,” said Laurent Halbwachs, head of Operations at Merck’s Irvine Cell Culture Media Centre of Excellence.
Merck’s Irvine site supplies materials for the production of medicines to treat cancer and diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes and various forms of dementia, among others. This expansion will allow Merck to supply an additional two million litres of specialised media to the global healthcare industry, building on its £20 million investment in 2015 for a dry powder facility.
High temperature short time (HTST) pasteurization has been used as a treatment for high-risk bioreactor feeds and is becoming an integral part of biopharmaceutical companies’ viral risk-mitigation strategies. The Irvine facility has recently expanded its HTST capability, to allow industrial-scale pre-treatment of high risk feeds, such as glucose, to prevent viruses from entering the upstream processes.
Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Economy and Fair Work Derek Mackay joined the Merck team on site to inaugurate the expanded facility on May 24. Local MSP Ruth Maguire and MP Dr. Philippa Whitford, who participated in Merck’s 2017 groundbreaking ceremony, also attended the event.
“I was delighted to speak at the Parliamentary reception in December to mark the 350th anniversary of Merck,” Mackay said. “This latest investment at the facility demonstrates their continued commitment to investing in Scotland’s diverse life sciences sector, which Merck is an integral part of. This investment will also further strengthen the site in Irvine and underlines Merck’s commitment to the local economy. Life Science is an incredibly important sector for Scotland, employing almost 40,000 people across 770 organisations, and I look forward to seeing Merck continue to be a major contributor to that success story.”
Merck, a leading science and technology company, operates across healthcare, life science and performance materials. Around 58,000 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 2019, Merck generated sales of €16.2 billion in 66 countries.
Scientific exploration and responsible entrepreneurship have been key to Merck’s technological and scientific advances. This is how Merck has thrived since its founding in 1668. The founding family remains the majority owner of the publicly listed company. Merck holds the global rights to the Merck name and brand. The only exceptions are the United States and Canada, where the business sectors of Merck operate as EMD Serono in healthcare, MilliporeSigma in life science and EMD Performance Materials.
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