Merck KGaA's MilliporeSigma pumps €28M into 2 new mRNA production plants

On a 1 billion euro quest to build a global mRNA network, Merck KGaA’s MilliporeSigma has rounded out its service offerings to include all key stages of mRNA development, manufacturing and commercialization.

Tuesday, MilliporeSigma christened two new mRNA drug substance manufacturing sites in Darmstadt and Hamburg, Germany. The company has invested €28 million in the sites, where it plans to hire 75 new staffers, MilliporeSigma said in a release.

The new facilities will be able to tackle a full range of mRNA services, from preclinical to commercial-scale projects, MilliporeSigma said. Those offerings will include analytical development and biosafety testing specifically designed for mRNA technologies, the company added.

The facilities fall under the umbrella of MilliporeSigma’s 1 billion euro investment to advance mRNA technologies and build its global mRNA network.

Employing 27,000 worldwide, MilliporeSigma sells life sciences companies the tools and tech needed for testing and manufacturing. It also operates a contract testing, development and manufacturing organization to provide services for partners to advance their products.

Meanwhile, following mRNA’s breakout success in the COVID-19 pandemic, many companies are pursuing the promising technology.

Recently, England’s Centre for Process Innovation opened a 26.4 million pounds sterling ($32 million) plant in Darlington, England. The site, called the RNA Centre of Excellence, will support the development and production of RNA products in clinical trials.

In early August, China’s CanSino and AstraZeneca inked an mRNA manufacturing deal that’s set to last for at least 10 years. Under the deal, CanSino will use its mRNA manufacturing platform to support AZ on the R&D of certain vaccines.