[THE INVESTOR] German life sciences and chemicals giant Merck opened a new biopharmaceuticals production and development support center in Incheon’s Songdo district on Thursday, as part of its moves to ramp up its presence in the country’s fast-growing biotechnology industry.
Located in the heart of Korea’s fast-growing biotechnology hub, Merck’s M Lab Collaboration Center is designed to provide local clients such as Samsung BioLogics, Celltrion and Green Cross with more comprehensive training and research and development guidance as well as improved after-sales services.
|Merck Korea CEO Michael Grund (left) poses with Merck Life Science CEO Udit Batra (right) and Frank Stangenberg-Haverkamp, chairman of Merck’s family board and its parent company E. Merck KG during the opening ceremony of the M-Lab collaboration center held at the Techno Park IT Center in Songdo, Incheon, Thursday. Merck Korea|
“At our new center in Incheon, our clients will benefit from our deep technical expertise to develop processes for manufacturing drugs faster, safer and more effectively than ever before,” Udit Batra, CEO of Merck’s Life Sciences Division, said during a press conference held at the center Thursday.
The center will also serve as a marketing space to draw new purchases and clients by showcasing Merck’s flagship products — such as base materials used in producing biologic drugs, laboratory systems and manufacturing equipment for biopharma production.
The German multinational company invested some 10 million euros ($11.2 million) into building the M Lab Collaboration Center in Korea — which expands the services previously offered by its Biomanufacturing Sciences & Training Center in Pangyo, Gyeonggi Province, built in 2012.
It made the large-scale investment on the belief that Korea’s biotechnology sector will see robust growth in the years ahead, and in turn, boost the scale and competitiveness of Merck’s life sciences business in Korea, Batra said.
The new Songdo-based M Lab also stands alongside others established by Merck worldwide — in the US, France, Brazil, India, China, Singapore, Japan, Taiwan.
Looking ahead, Merck hopes to play a proactive role in supporting Korea’s new push into the biotechnology sector, similar to how it became a major supplier and partner to Korea’s top display-makers such as Samsung and LG from its early days, according to Merck Korea CEO Michael Grund.
“The Korean industry is now moving in a different direction into the area of biotechnology and biopharmaceuticals, and consequently, we want to help them in the same way we did in the electronics area,” Grund said.
Based in Darmstadt, Germany, Merck currently services diverse Korean clients in the field of life science, ranging from biopharma contract manufacturers and biologic drug developers to biotech start-ups, local academic institutions and research labs engaged in biotech research.
The firm is also a major supplier of performance materials used for the production of liquid crystal displays as well as organic light-emitting diode panels.
By Sohn Ji-young/The Korea Herald (firstname.lastname@example.org)