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Merck Invests €70 Million to Expand Reagent Manufacturing in China


Merck, a leading science and technology company, is expanding production capacity for highly-purified reagents at its site in Nantong, China, a major transportation hub in the Yangtze River Delta region. The approximate €70 million investment will allow the large-scale manufacturing of high-purity reagents for quality control and testing for biopharma customers, increasing annual output by several thousand tons. Merck and the Nantong Economic and Technological Development Area (NETDA) today signed the corresponding agreement in support of the expansion.


“Continued growth of the life science and biopharma industries in China have increased demand for high-quality products and a more resilient supply chain,” said Jean-Charles Wirth, Head of Science & Lab Solutions, Merck Life Science.


“To ensure seamless supply for our customers, we have accelerated our expansion plan in China. In doing so, we continue to support the life science industry and enhance our ability to better serve our customers’ need for high-quality and reliable products.”

Merck will build a new reagent production plant at the Nantong site, which is expected to be operational by 2026. The facility will cover 40,000 square meters and offer high-performance products for quality control and testing to customers in the pharmaceutical, and industrial sectors, including food & beverage.


The NETDA site is already home to both the company’s Life Science and Healthcare business sectors. The facility produces cell culture media for Life Science customers; Healthcare manufactures high-quality medicines that are on China’s essential medicines list. It was opened in 2016 as part of NETDA, one of the first national-level economic and technological development zones in China.


“Nantong serves as a major transportation hub in the Yangtze River Delta region, growing into an advanced manufacturing base. NETDA has taken the lead in developing a first-class economic development zone with high-end industrial modernization, sound industry-city integration, and internationalization,” said Bao Delin, Deputy Secretary and Director of the Administration Committee, NETDA.


“Merck’s Life Science Center at Nantong, and its expansion marks an important milestone as the company continues to play an important role in Nantong’s transformation into an innovation-driven economy, with sustainable, high-quality growth at its core.”

Merck aims to increase Group sales to approximately €25 billion by 2025. To achieve its growth targets, the company plans to increase its total investments between 2021 and 2025 significantly compared with the period from 2016 to 2020. The latest investment in Nantong further supports Merck’s strategy to diversify its footprint and increase supply chain resilience in alignment with its customer base.

In 2022, the company’s Life Science business invested €29 million in a new biologics testing center in Shanghai, and €100 million to accelerate single-use manufacturing in Wuxi.



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