Merck, a leading science and technology company, on Jan 7, 2021 announced the acquisition of AmpTec, a leading Hamburg, Germany-based, mRNA contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO). The deal strengthens Merck’s capabilities to develop and manufacture mRNA for its customers for use in vaccines, treatments and diagnostics applicable in Covid-19 and many other diseases. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Lipids, which are part of the SAFC® portfolio in Merck’s Life Science business sector, constitute one of the critical components for the formulation of mRNA therapeutics including Covid-19 vaccines. PCR technology is another important component of mRNA manufacturing. AmpTec uses a differentiated PCR-based technology for mRNA manufacturing, which has shown to have advantages over other manufacturing technologies, including:
- Advantages in homogeneity, purity, activity and flexibility.
- Higher quality and improved performance.
- Flexible capping options to reach specific performance requirements.
In addition to specializing in mRNA technology, AmpTec has a diagnostics business that focuses on producing customized long RNAs and DNAs for in vitro diagnostics. It will complement Merck’s diagnostics business, which specializes in providing critical raw materials, components and services for in vitro diagnostics manufacturers. Merck’s molecular materials portfolio includes custom and predesigned DNA oligos and probes for a variety of applications such as PCR, next generation sequencing and microarray production.
Merck is continuing to invest in mRNA as a modality and will scale up this technology both at AmpTec’s existing site in Hamburg and at Merck’s global headquarters in Darmstadt, Germany.
Stefan Oschmann, Chairman of the Executive Board and CEO of Merck, said “By combining AmpTec’s PCR-based mRNA technology with Merck’s extensive expertise in lipids manufacturing, we are able to provide a truly differentiated and integrated offering across the mRNA value chain, which will significantly decrease supply chain complexity and enhance speed-to-market. This transaction is another important step to support the constant growth of our Life Science business through tailored, small-scale acquisitions with high impact.”