The state-of-the-art centre, which represents a $65m investment for the German company, is located in Billerica and will act as a 'hub' within Merck's research organisation.
According to Serono the facility will create 100 new jobs, accommodating around 200 scientists in total, as well as helping “support the company's commitment to developing and discovering innovative treatments in oncology, neurodegenerative diseases and infertility.”
Fereydoun Firouz, president and CEO of EMD Serono, said the expansion represented the company's “clear purpose of scientific and medical innovation, and solidifies our presence in Massachusetts as a leading, global organisation in the life sciences industry.
He went on to say: “We are focussed on retaining and attracting the best scientists to develop therapies that provide value and breakthrough solutions to people living with serious medical conditions.”
The company claim the new site's proximity to Boston will help it reinforce existing networks and provide opportunities for scientific collaborations with academic institutions, research organisations and healthcare institutions.
The new facility is a beneficiary of Massachusetts' Life Sciences Initiative, a scheme designed to encourage biotech companies to set up research, development and manufacturing plants in Massachusetts by offering a raft of tax incentives.
“This is just the sort of growth that we envisioned when we proposed the Life Sciences Initiative back in 2007 ” said state governor Deval Patrick, “The Massachusetts economy is an innovation economy, and EMD Serono's new facility is one of the best examples of how that innovation translates into jobs and scientific advancement.
“I am confident there will be many more announcements like this to come,” he added.
Susan Windham-Bannister, president and CEO of the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, said: “This new facility reflects the tremendous success the company is having with its pipeline of innovative new drugs and therapies. I congratulate EMD Serono on this important milestone and thank them for their commitment to growing in Massachusetts.”
Collaboration and synergy
The Billerica facility is one of four R&D 'hubs' within Merck Serono – a division of Merck, Germany - with other centres located in Germany, Switzerland and China. Bernhard Kirschbaum, executive VP of research and development for Merck Serono, said: “The research institute in Billerica will bring together EMD Serono scientists, researchers and stakeholders in our research network which allows for greater synergy, collaboration and development of innovative science.”
“In addition, the establishment of EMD Serono's research facility centre of excellence in Massachusetts provides an opportunity to tap into world-renowned academic and research institutions that are located in close proximity to our facility in order to further collaborate with a common objective to drive science forward.”