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Merck unveils its cutting-edge Biotech Development Center in Corsier-sur-Vevey

Life sciences

12 June 2023

German pharmaceutical giant Merck has celebrated the inauguration of its state-of-the-art Biotech Development Center in Corsier-sur-Vevey.

Merck’s pioneering “Biotech Development Center” represents an investment of over CHF 250 million. It is dedicated to the development and production of active ingredients for clinical trials, further reinforcing Merck’s established presence in Corsier-sur-Vevey. The center is expected to be fully operational by the end of the year.

Located close to the existing production center, the new facility bolsters Corsier-sur-Vevey’s status as a biotech hub. The inauguration ceremony was attended by esteemed individuals including Merck’s CEO and Chairwoman of the Board, Belén Garijo, and the President of the Grand Council of Vaud, Séverine Evéquoz.

“The center is equipped with the most advanced digital solutions and the highest technological standards, especially in terms of continuous production processes, robotics, and automation,” stated the company in its release. The facility is also notable for its environmentally friendly design, with 500 square meters covered with solar panels.

An unwavering commitment to Western Switzerland

Over the past twelve years, Merck has invested over a billion Swiss francs in Switzerland, a testament to the company’s long-standing commitment since 1929. Currently, it employs around 2,400 collaborators across several sites. Merck has been operating in the canton of Vaud for almost 40 years and employs over 1,600 people. In March 2019, the company announced the reinforcement of its Aubonne site, with an investment of CHF 165 million francs up until 2023.

Patrick Chkroun, director of the Merck Biotech Development Center, expressed his enthusiasm for the new facility, noting that it gathers all of Merck’s biotechnological development expertise in one place. He further highlighted that the center will be part of a campus where 800 people will be active, at the heart of the Health Valley, where over 1,000 companies are currently operating.

The group plans to develop molecules in its key areas of oncology, neurology, and immunology. “Between ten to twenty selected molecules will be developed and transformed into drug candidates,” stated Jonathan Souquet, Head of Global Drug Substance Development.

With its two factories in Corsier-sur-Vevey and Aubonne, Merck produces medicines in the therapeutic areas of oncology, immuno-oncology, multiple sclerosis, and fertility disorders.