Incheon, South Korea, October 6, 2016 — Merck, a leading science and technology company, today announced the opening of an M Lab™ Collaboration Center in the Songdo district of Incheon, Korea, one of the fastest growing biotech hubs in Asia. The center provides biopharmaceutical manufacturers with a shared, exploratory environment where they can closely collaborate with Merck scientists and engineers to solve their toughest challenges and accelerate development and production of new therapies.
“With a rapidly growing biopharmaceutical industry in Korea and demand for novel and cost-effective therapies worldwide, there is a clear need for innovative concepts like our M Lab™ Collaboration Centers,” said Udit Batra, Member of the Merck Executive Board and CEO, Life Science. “At our new center in Incheon, our customers will benefit from our deep technical expertise to develop processes for manufacturing drugs faster, safer and more effectively than ever before.”
The new M Lab™ Collaboration Center replaces a smaller facility in Seoul and will better suit the needs of Korea’s growing biopharmaceutical market. The new, state-of-the-art center will include a simulated manufacturing environment and offer full end-to-end process development support. In addition, education on best practices and new approaches to develop, optimize and scale-up processes and simplify global technology transfer will be available to customers.
With 1,865 square meters of space and more than ten highly trained scientists and engineers, the M Lab™ Collaboration Center will serve local biopharma manufacturers, spanning the spectrum from multinational organizations like Samsung Biologics to emerging companies developing biologics to treat rare diseases or different types of cancer.
“The new M Lab™ Collaboration Center will play a great role in providing technical support and training of Korean biopharmaceutical employees,” said TH Kim, CEO of Samsung BioLogics. “Merck’s decision to invest in Songdo, fast growing as world largest biologics manufacturing hub with 520 KL of plant capacity by 2018, represents a significant milestone in the development of the Songdo Bio Cluster, which will accelerate the future growth of Incheon as well as Korean Biopharmaceutical industry.”
The new M Lab™ Collaboration Center in Incheon is one of nine such centers around the world. Each center allows pharmaceutical manufacturers to explore new ways to increase productivity, improve processes and mitigate risks by giving them access to a world-class team of experts. Customers have access to sizing and simulation tools and methodologies as well as analytical and modeling support. Formal bioprocessing educational courses are also available, including traditional classroom-style training and interactive, hands-on sessions.
The inauguration ceremony was attended by Stephan Auer (German Ambassador), Prof. Dr. Gerhard Sabathil (Ambassador & Head of Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Korea), Seung Tack Park (Director General for Investment Policy, Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy), Dr. Jeong Bok Yoo (Mayor of Incheon Metropolitan City), Young Geun Lee (Commissioner, Incheon City government), Dr. Frank Stangenberg-Haverkamp (Chairman of the Executive Board and the Family Board, E. Merck KG) and Dr. Udit Batra (Member of the Merck Executive Board and CEO, Life Science).
Merck is a leading science and technology company in healthcare, life science and performance materials. Around 50,000 employees work to further develop technologies that improve and enhance life – from biopharmaceutical therapies to treat cancer or multiple sclerosis, cutting-edge systems for scientific research and production, to liquid crystals for smartphones and LCD televisions. In 2015, Merck generated sales of € 12.85 billion in 66 countries.
Founded in 1668, Merck is the world's oldest pharmaceutical and chemical company. The founding family remains the majority owner of the publicly listed corporate group. The company holds the global rights to the Merck name and brand. The only exceptions are the United States and Canada, where the company operates as EMD Serono, MilliporeSigma and EMD Performance Materials.