Merck eyes new India bio-production facility

pharmafile | February 21, 2017 | News story | Manufacturing and Production Merck 

German pharmaceutical firm Merck has made it known that it has plans to expand its operations in India with a new bio-production plant – its fourth globally.  

Bio-production facilities allow for production of drugs and biosimilars on a scale not possible for smaller companies; the plant synthesises a molecule, which enables testing and production to a much more expedient degree than otherwise.

The move would come in at a cost as low as $40 million and could prove to be significant for Merck’s presence in the region, with a new plant helping to secure partnerships with smaller Indian biotechs.

“Benefit for us is pretty good economically, because if we develop a batch for someone, they are going to use our products,” explained Udit Batra, executive board member and Chief Executive of Life Science business at Merck. “When you are developing a molecule, you want to develop a batch with certain degree of confidence in process development. We are the only one in the industry who has the products and process development.”

The company already has similar facilities in France and the US, with a China plant soon to follow.

“We believe that demand in these three geographies is undisputed; as it is in India,” Batra continued. “We will talk to some government officials. We would want to make sure that we have some local customers who would like to use this facility and we want to make sure that regulations are somehow standardised. I think this is where the discussion needs to happen in a very open way and the government will have to assure us that the regulatory standards will apply to everyone.”

Matt Fellows

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