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Merck KGaA acquires Germany-based mRNA contract manufacturer

January 25/2021

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Merck KGaA says it has acquired AmpTec (Hamburg, Germany), a messenger RNA (mRNA) contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO), according to Chemweek.

The deal strengthens Mercks capabilities to develop and manufacture mRNA for its customers, for use in vaccines, treatments, and diagnostics applicable in COVID-19 and many other diseases, the company says. Financial terms have not been disclosed.

The success of mRNA-based vaccines for COVID-19 lays the path to accelerate the development of these therapeutics for many other diseases, says Stefan Oschmann, chairman and CEO of Merck. This transaction is another important step to support the constant growth of our life-science business through tailored small-scale acquisitions with high impact.

AmpTec uses a differentiated PCR-based technology for mRNA manufacturing, Merck says. PCR is an important component of mRNA manufacturing and lipids, which form part of Mercks life-science portfolio and constitute another critical component for the formulation of mRNA therapeutics including COVID-19 vaccines, the company says.

By combining AmpTecs PCR-based mRNA technology with Mercks extensive expertise in lipids manufacturing, we are able to provide a truly differentiated and integrated offering across the mRNA value chain, which will significantly decrease supply-chain complexity and enhance speed-to-market, says Oschmann.

AmpTec also has a diagnostics business that focuses on producing customized long RNAs and DNAs for in vitro diagnostics, which will complement Mercks diagnostics business, the company says.

Merck says it continues to invest in mRNA as a modality and will scale up this technology at AmpTecs Hamburg site and at Mercks headquarters at Darmstadt, Germany.

As MRC wrote previously, Merck KGaA has announced the opening its M Lab Collaboration Center in Shanghai, China. Merck Innovation Hub, the first in China, started in late 2019, with the company announcing a 100 million renminbi (USD14 million) seed fund injected into the China Innovation Hub.

Besides, Merck KGaA said in August, 2020, it plans to build an EUR18-million (USD20.6 million) laboratory facility at Buchs, Switzerland, to support its rapidly growing reference materials business. The facility will include laboratory and office space in a three-story, 1,125-square-meter building, Merck says. Completion of construction is scheduled for December 2021 and the move to the facility is planned for early 2022, the company says. Merck anticipates that about two dozen jobs will be created.

We remind that Russia's output of chemical products rose in November 2020 by 9.5% year on year. At the same time, production of basic chemicals increased in the first eleven months of 2020 by 6.6% year on year. According to the Federal State Statistics Service of the Russian Federation, polymers in primary form accounted for the greatest increase in the January-November 2020 output. November production of polymers in primary form rose to 896,000 tonnes from 852,000 tonnes in October. Overall output of polymers in primary form totalled 9,240,000 tonnes over the stated period, up by 17.1%  year on year.

Headquartered in Darmstadt, Germany, Merck opened an OLED application center in Pyeongtaek, Korea, in 2015. Merck Korea now has 11 operation sites and some 1,200 employees and operates businesses in functional materials, health care and life sciences. The functional materials business encompasses advance materials for information technology products such as displays and semiconductors. It also includes cosmetics and paints for automobiles.
Its health care business involves pharmaceuticals and medical devices for treatments of cancer, multiple sclerosis and infertility. The life sciences business deals in an extensive portfolio of over 300,000 products used for protein research, cell biology, antibodies, water purification and microbiome tests.
Author:Margaret Volkova
Tags:propylene, ethylene, medicine, petrochemistry, Merck, Germany, China, Russia, Switzerland.
Category:General News
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