Updated on 10 November 2016
Singapore: German drug major Merck has recently inaugurated its Euro 170 million Nantong pharmaceutical plant in China, which is dedicated to producing high-quality pharmaceuticals on China's Essential Drug List. At the inauguration ceremony, Merck also announced a further investment of around Euro 80 million in a Life Science Center near the Nantong pharmaceutical plant to manufacture high-purity inorganic salts, cell culture media products as well as ready-to-use media.
The Nantong pharmaceutical manufacturing site will focus on the production of Glucophage, Euthyrox and Concor, Merck's leading brands for the treatment of the major chronic diseases diabetes, thyroid disorders and cardiovascular diseases. The facility is expected to accommodate full production capacity of up to 10 billion tablets a year by 2021. And by then, the pharmaceutical manufacturing site, which currently employs 180 people, is expected to have a workforce of more than 580.
Mr Marc Horn, managing director of the biopharma business of Merck in China, added, "With our new state-of-the-art pharmaceutical production, Merck is transforming from an import-based company to a full-fledged local industry player in China. By dedicating the largest manufacturing plant outside of Europe to the production of pharmaceuticals to address widespread healthcare needs in China,Merck is connected with China more than ever. This is in line with our Healthcare vision for 2021 - transforming 25 million patients' lives in China, for China."
The life science center will manufacture high-purity inorganic salts, cell culture media products as well as ready-to-use media. Merck is the first multinational company to dedicate a green-field investment to the production of pharmaceuticals on China's Essential Drug List. Merck is planning to augment production and the first drugs from the plant are expected to be delivered to patients in the second half of 2017.
Mr Stefan Oschmann, chairman of the executive board and CEO of Merck, said, "China is of strategic importance to Merck as a key driver of our sustainable growth. In line with our long-term commitment to China, Merck has always been dedicated to localising global expertise to make a meaningful difference to our patients and life science customers. Combining the strengths of our two business sectors Healthcare and Life Science, the Nantong site is a pioneering initiative to foster a comprehensive value chain that will create better access to health, enabling Merck to support China's evolving developmental and healthcare priorities."