Merck KGaA invests in Italian manufacturing site
- Germany’s Merck KGaA is investing in a new production line for aseptic filling of biotech drugs under isolator at its facility in Bari, Italy.
- The company will invest €35 million ($29.3 million) in the new production line. The announcement was made during a 25th anniversary celebration for the manufacturing site in the Southern Italian region of Apulia.
- The new production line is expected to be up and running by 2022 and will have a capacity of 14 million units a year.
The Bari site was established in 1992 and has grown over time to employ 225 people. While it has always hosted Merck KGaA’s biotech manufacturing, it has been updated over the years, including a €50 million investment in 2014 that automated the production line under isolator and the warehouse.
The plant specializes in fill and finish activities for injectable medicines and the new investment will provide a best-in-practice environment for contamination-free filling.
"This investment underpins the importance of the Modugno-Bari production site for our growing Healthcare business," said Stefan Oschmann, chairman and CEO of Merck KGaA. "It will help us to secure the supply of medicines that improve people’s lives around the world."
The plant will focus specifically on medications for fertility, multiple sclerosis and endocrinology.
The Bari site is just one of 15 that the German company operates.
Amongst the other manufacturing sites is a plant in Lyon, France that is currently being investigated by authorities in relation to complaints from patients about changes to the thyroid drug levothyrox, according to a report from Reuters.
The German company changed the formulation of the drug at the behest of a French medical authority, according to the report, but patients have been complaining of side effects including hair loss, weight gain and memory loss.
Since an investigation has begun in September, Merck has restored the old formulation and is currently selling both.
- Merck KGaA Statement
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