Merck installed a 2,000L single-use bioreactor supplied by its own life sciences tech unit, which was formed through the merger of EMD Millipore unit and recent acquisition Sigma-Aldrich.
The dual role as supplier and customer was highlighted as a potential benefit for Merck’s customers by life science division CEO Udit Batra, who suggested it would provide benefits in terms of tech transfer and helping customers develop their own capacity.
“Our unique offering gives customers the choice to transfer their production at any stage with the confidence that we will ensure the most efficient transition into commercial manufacturing - at either an existing facility or one we help them design."
The comments are in keeping with the plan Merck set out when it opened the Martillac facility in 2012.
Merck marketed the facility as ‘open source,’ explaining the idea is to provide process development for mammalian protein production as well as tech transfer support to help customer that choose to relocate commercial-stage production to do so effectively.
At the time Merck told us that the Martillac site has capacity to run 10 to 12 projects in parallel.
In 2015, Merck said the facility would be providing process development services for Texas-based Precision Biologics’ candidate anti-cancer monoclonal antibody, NEO-201.
Precision presented positive data from preclinical studies of the drug at the Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting in New Orleans last month.