MilliporeSigma boosts drug substance production capacity with new facility in France

Three weeks after revealing a major investment at its site in Molsheim, France, Merck KGaA’s life science arm MilliporeSigma has opened a new factory on the other side of the country.

At its site at Martillac, MilliporeSigma has opened a 2,700-square-meter (29,000-square-foot) drug substance facility that will produce monoclonal antibodies and other recombinant proteins, the contract manufacturer said.

The €50 million ($49.4 million) investment will bring roughly 150 new jobs by 2024, adding to the 400 employees now at the site.

The single-use technology plant—which includes two 2,000-liter bioreactors—boosts MilliporeSigma’s commercial and clinical capability at Martillac. The plant can now rapidly pivot from producing 200 to 2,000 liters of drug substance, the company said.

“(The site offers) differentiated services, including templates for drug development, manufacturing and commercialization to accelerate molecules to market with one experienced partner,” Dirk Lange, who heads up Merck KGaA’s life science services, said in a release.

Meanwhile, at its facility on the eastern border of France, in Molsheim, MilliporeSigma is spending 130 million euros ($132 million) to bolster its single-use manufacturing capability. The outlay will add 800 jobs by 2028, the company said.

Germany-based Merck KGaA is in a five-year phase of heavy investment with a goal to increase sales from 19.7 billion euros in 2021 to 25 billion euros by 2025. Much of the new investment has been earmarked to bolster MilliporeSigma’s single-use capabilities.

Earlier this year, Merck KGaA launched its new Life Sciences Services unit, which consolidated its CDMO and contract testing units, plus other operations, as part of its effort to grow.

In June, the company opened a new $65 million high-potency active pharmaceutical ingredient manufacturing site in Verona, Wisconsin.

A month earlier, MilliporeSigma unveiled a 440 million euro ($470 million) investment to expand its membrane and filtration manufacturing capabilities at its facility in Cork, Ireland, in a move that will add 370 jobs at the site by 2027.

That announcement came shortly after the company revealed a 100 million euro ($110 million) outlay for a single-use manufacturing facility in Wuxi, China, that would add 1,000 jobs by 2024.