Cell culture media is an essential raw material used in the manufacture of life-saving therapies and in processes as varied as vaccine manufacturing, gene therapy, and monoclonal antibody manufacturing.
Because of its central role in biomanufacturing, a consistent supply of high-quality media is required to deliver the necessary concentration and protein quality for therapeutics.
The company’s strategic investments to expand capacity with the new dry powder media manufacturing lines in existing production facilities in the Lenexa, Kansas, and Nantong, China, sites will increase both local and global production capacity to meet current demand and ensure a robust supply for future demand surges.
As well as boosting capacity, the expansion is expected to bring 60 jobs to the Kansas City area.
Darren Verlenden, head of process solutions life science business sector at Merck, said: “The Lenexa expansion reflects our commitment to meeting the dynamic needs of our customers worldwide and delivering on our growth plans.”
“This expansion makes Lenexa the company’s largest dry powder cell culture media facility and Center of Excellence in North America. Investing in the region reflects our strategy to expand and diversify our supply chain to ensure we meet current and future demand for cell culture media.
“As our customers’ needs and technologies evolve, so must we. The new production line represents the company’s vision for our Lenexa site, as it was initially constructed for three manufacturing lines for dry powder cell culture media. The new production line is the culmination of multiple years of planning, and now we are able to offer greater flexibility and faster cell culture media manufacturing for our customers.”
David Toland, lieutenant governor and secretary of commerce, Kansas, USA, added: “Governor Kelly’s administration knows that supporting private sector efforts to strengthen supply chains benefits Kansas workers. These new opportunities offered by the Life Science business of Merck will allow even more families throughout the region to prosper.”
The company has a total of three Centers of Excellence for dry powder cell culture media manufacturing: in addition to the site in Lenexa, Kansas, serving the Americas region, and Nantong, China, for the Asia Pacific region, the third site is located in Irvine, Scotland, serving Europe, the Middle East and Africa region.