At the cornerstone laying ceremony for the planned 172,000-sq ft site, Belén Garijo, CEO of Healthcare, and fellow executive board member Kai Beckmann emphasised how the expansion will contribute to Merck’s future growth.
“When complete in 2017, we will offer our employees in research an open and modern environment that fosters collaboration and innovation across disciplines,” said Beckmann.
“With this building, we are sending out another signal that the Darmstadt site will continue to serve as a core R&D Hub for Merck,”said Beckmann.
He added the new lab building is “an important element” in the expansion of Merck’s global headquarters.
“By continuing to invest in R&D with the expansion of our scientific infrastructure in Darmstadt, we are creating new opportunities for future discoveries that will bring value to patients and to Merck,” Garijo said.
The new building will house Merck Serono’s R&D Discovery Technologies division, including molecular pharmacology, medicinal chemistry, computational chemistry, molecular interactions, biophysics, protein engineering, antibody technologies, and cell sciences.
Construction of the research building is expected to finish in late 2017. It will be located within the new “Pharma Square” on the Merck campus in Darmstadt, 20 miles from Frankfurt.
The company said uniting a significant part of its R&D activities in a single area will create “ideal conditions” for advancing its biopharma pipeline.
Merck Serono has about 2,000 staff at its R&D hubs in Darmstadt, Boston, Tokyo, and Beijing. Its core research areas are oncology and immunology.