Merck Completes New Viral Vector Contract Development Manufacturing Facility for Gene Therapy

13 October 2021 | Wednesday | News

Merck, a leading science and technology company, today announced the opening of its second Carlsbad, California-based facility, significantly expanding its global CDMO footprint. This new €100 million, 140,000-square foot facility will more than double the company's existing capacity to support large-scale commercial and industrial manufacturing for viral gene therapy, in a market expected to grow to $10 billion by 2026.

  • Expansion in Carlsbad, California, USA, doubles production capacity to support commercialization and industrialization of viral vectors
  • Investment serves customers in addressing larger patient populations with new curative treatments
  • Enables suspension production of viral vectors up to 1,000-liter scale
  • Project adds to company's ambition to accelerate growth through investments in "Big 3" businesses, which includes plans to expand Process Solutions' contract manufacturing and development organization (CDMO) services for traditional and novel modalities

"Merck , most gene therapies target rare diseases, but there is an urgent need to efficiently manufacture these treatments to reach larger patient populations," said Matthias Heinzel, Member of the Executive Board of Merck and CEO Life Science. "As a leader in viral vector manufacturing, this increase in capacity and scale is the next step in enabling our customers to bring new curative treatments to market."

This is the company's second Carlsbad, California-based facility to serve cell and gene therapy customers driven by the industry's rapid adoption of viral vector-based therapies. Between the two facilities, there are 30 cleanroom suites to support all aspects of manufacturing from small- to large-scale clinical and commercial production. The new facility leverages cutting-edge suspension technology to enable scalable and cost-effective manufacturing.

"We are continuing to invest in solving cell and gene therapy challenges in development and manufacturing, working alongside drug developers to industrialize, scale and accelerate the path to deliver therapies to patients," Heinzel added.

The expansion of the Carlsbad facility adds to the company's ambition to accelerate growth through investments in the "Big 3", including the Process Solutions business unit within the Life Science business sector as a key driver.

Merck has proven its commercial execution and global regulatory success as one of the first CDMOs to be granted U.S. Food and Drug Administration and European Medicines Agency approval for viral vector manufacturing. With nearly 30 years of experience in cell and gene therapy, Merck offers unique CDMO services streamlined as a single, highly experienced provider.


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