The new packaging center is approximately 162,000-square-feet of space, to be used for packaging and shipping the company’s current pharma portfolio to more than 90 countries.
Merck said that the site will also provide capacity for potential future pharma products currently in clinical development, such as evobrutinib in the area of neurology-immunology or tepotinib in the area of oncology.
An opening ceremony was attended by Stefan Oschmann, CEO of Merck KGaA, as well as Stefan Grüttner, minister of social affairs and integration for the German Federal State of Hesse, and Jochen Partsch, mayor of the city of Darmstadt.
According to the CEO in a press release that Darmstadt is the hub for the company’s manufacturing and it plans for future growth.
The new facility has eight fully automated packaging lines and robotized logistics, with the capacity to process over 210 million boxes of medicines per year. The design includes the incorporation of technology for tracking & tracing, and smart packaging to ensure that production can be adapted to patient demand.
Merck’s new pharma packaging center comes after an investment of €63m ($82.8m) from 2015-2018 and is part of a wider €1bn investment up to 2020 to renovate the company’s global headquarters.