MilliporeSigma opens $65M high-potency API facility focused on cancer meds

MilliporeSigma, Merck KGaA’s North American subsidiary, opened the doors to its $65 million high-potency active pharmaceutical ingredient (HPAPI) manufacturing facility with a focus on cancer treatments.

The 70,000-square-foot plant in Verona, Wisconsin, is expected to create 50 new positions, the company said.

HPAPIs have been found to be highly effective for their low-dose, cell-killing abilities with reduced side effects for patients. Currently, they are being used in novel cancer therapies including antibody-drug conjugates.

"There is an increasing demand for HPAPIs due to their effectiveness against cancer at lower doses and the trend towards more targeted therapeutics,” Dirk Lange, a Merck KGaA spokesperson, said in a statement. “Lower-doses of these therapies reduce the negative side effects for patients who are taking on this critical fight.”

Meanwhile, like many other drugmakers, Merck KGaA and its subsidiaries have been ramping up their mRNA production operations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In January, Merck KGaA and MilliporeSigma announced the $780 million acquisition of Indianapolis-based CDMO Exelead, which specializes in sterile injectables. The company also said it planned to spend $557 million to scale up Exelead’s technology over the next decade.