Merck KGaA (ETR:MRK) subsidiary MilliporeSigma has opened its second facility in Carlsbad, California, near San Diego. The new $110 million, 140,000-ft² facility more than doubles its production capacity supporting viral gene therapy.
The company now has two facilities dedicated to serving customers focused on cell and gene therapy. The facilities can support suspension production of viral vectors at an up to 1,000-liter scale.
Between the two facilities, there are 30 cleanroom suites.
Darmstadt, Germany–based Merck KGaA is undergoing something of a metamorphosis as the company’s new CEO, Belén Garijo, aims to make the company the “global leading scientific and technology enterprise of the 21st century.” In addition, Garijo wants to increase the company’s revenue from the current €17.5 billion to €25 billion by 2025.
“At MilliporeSigma, our ambition is to become the world-leading science and technology company of the 21st century and we are continuously and purposefully investing in areas that will drive future growth, such as our contract development manufacturing organization (CDMO),” wrote a MilliporeSigma spokesperson in an email. The Carlsbad investment is “a critical part of our vision to accelerate growth through investments in MilliporeSigma’s ‘Big 3’ businesses,” the spokesperson continued. Those three business units include the process solutions division within the life science unit.
“The completion of this viral vector manufacturing facility significantly expands our global CDMO footprint which provides services for traditional and novel modalities,” the spokesperson continued. “Our offering will address increasing demand for viral gene therapies, in a market that is expected to grow to $10 billion by 2026.”
Similarly, the company’s MilliporeSigma subsidiary foresees gene therapy transforming from a therapy for rare diseases to a treatment for larger patient populations. “As a leader in viral vector manufacturing, this increase in capacity and scale is the next step in enabling our customers to bring new curative treatments to market,” said Matthias Heinzel, CEO, life science at Merck KGaA, in a statement.
Merck KGaA acquired Millipore Corp. for $ 7.2 billion in 2010 and Sigma-Aldrich for $17 billion in 2015. The MilliporeSigma subsidiary is the result of those acquisitions.
Merck KGaA’s share price ticked up 2% today to €191.50.
Filed Under: Drug Discovery and Development