ROCKLAND, Mass., Feb. 10, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- EMD Serono, Inc., an affiliate of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, today announced the opening of a state-of-the-art research center in Billerica, MA, establishing it as a "hub" within the Merck KGaA research organization. Representing a $65 million investment, the Billerica research facility supports the company's commitment to developing and discovering innovative treatments in oncology, neurodegenerative diseases and infertility. Nearly 100 new jobs will be added in Massachusetts as a result of the building expansion.
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"This research expansion represents EMD Serono's clear purpose of scientific and medical innovation, and solidifies the company's presence in Massachusetts as a leading, global organization in the life sciences industry," said Fereydoun Firouz, President and CEO of EMD Serono, Inc. "We are focused on retaining and attracting the best scientists to develop therapies that provide value and breakthrough solutions to people living with serious medical conditions such as fertility disorders, cancer and neurodegenerative diseases."
The new site's proximity to Boston reinforces EMD Serono's existing networks and scientific collaborations, which include academic institutions, research organizations, hospitals and healthcare institutions. In addition, this research expansion is a strong indication of EMD Serono's commitment to supporting economic growth in Massachusetts.
"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," said Governor Deval Patrick. "This new facility will enhance Massachusetts' position of global leadership in the life sciences, and the research that goes on here will lead to improvements in human health. This is just the sort of growth that we envisioned when we proposed the Life Sciences Initiative back in 2007 and I am confident there will be many more announcements like this to come."
"EMD Serono is developing treatments for some of the toughest medical challenges that we face, including neurodegenerative diseases, metabolic disorders and infertility. This new facility reflects the tremendous success that the company is having with its pipeline of innovative new drugs and therapies," said Dr. Susan Windham-Bannister, President & CEO of the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center. "I congratulate EMD Serono on this important milestone and thank them for their commitment to growing in Massachusetts."
The new site will accommodate approximately 200 scientists with expertise in cancer biology, cancer immunotherapy, oncogene signaling, medicinal chemistry, molecular modeling, protein engineering, therapeutic antibodies and manufacturing cell lines across the core therapeutic areas of neurodegenerative diseases, cancer and infertility.
"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," said Dr. Bernhard Kirschbaum, Executive Vice President, Research and Development, Merck Serono, a division of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany. "In addition, the establishment of EMD Serono's research facility center of excellence in Massachusetts provides an opportunity to tap into world-renowned academic and research institutions that are located in close proximity to our new facility in order to further collaborate with a common objective to drive science forward."
The Billerica facility is one of four Research & Development hubs within Merck Serono; other R&D centers are located in Germany, Switzerland and China. These state-of-the-art facilities foster enhanced collaboration and synergies to discover and develop innovative therapies. The research facility located in Billerica is focused on the therapeutic areas of infertility, oncology and neurodegenerative diseases. The R&D site in Germany is focused on the therapeutic areas of rheumatology and oncology, and the location in Switzerland is focused on neurodegenerative diseases and rheumatology.
The 140,000 square foot (sf) Billerica facility accommodates over 115,000 sf of lab and office space, consisting of: 25,000 sf of chemistry and screening labs; 25,000 sf biology and cell culture labs; 22,000 sf of general lab support space; 20,000 sf of office and conference rooms and 23,000 sf of mechanical space.
EMD Serono is committed to environmental responsibility and currently is working toward Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification at this facility within the following categories: indoor environment quality, sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, and materials and resources.
EMD Serono worked with a number of Massachusetts businesses on this project. The architect on the research facility was Ellenzweig. The construction manager was Jones Lang LaSalle, a global real estate services and construction management corporation. The Mechanical Engineers of the facility were BR+A, LLC Consulting Engineers, the Civil Engineers were BSC Group and the Geotechnical Engineers were GEI Consultants.
About EMD Serono, Inc.
EMD Serono, Inc., an affiliate of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, is a leader in the US biopharmaceutical arena, integrating cutting-edge science with unparalleled patient support systems to improve people's lives. The company has strong market positions in neurodegenerative diseases, with Rebif® (interferon beta-1a), as well as in endocrinology, with Saizen® (somatropin (rDNA origin) for injection), Serostim® (somatropin (rDNA origin) for injection) and EGRIFTATM (tesamorelin for injection). EMD Serono is a leader in reproductive health, with Gonal-f® (follitropin alfa for injection), Luveris® (lutropin alfa for injection) and Ovidrel® Prefilled Syringe (choriogonadotropin alfa injection). In addition, EMD Serono is growing its expertise and presence in the area of oncology, with more than 10 projects currently in development. With a clear focus on the patient and a leadership presence in the biopharmaceutical industry, EMD Serono's US footprint continues to grow, with more than 1100 employees around the country and fully integrated commercial, clinical and research operations in the company's home state of Massachusetts.
For more information, please visit www.emdserono.com
About Merck KGaA
Merck KGaA is a global pharmaceutical and chemical company with total revenues of euro 7.7 billion in 2009, a history that began in 1668, and a future shaped by approximately 40,000 (including Merck Millipore) employees in 64 countries. Its success is characterized by innovations from entrepreneurial employees. Merck's operating activities come under the umbrella of Merck KGaA, in which the Merck family holds an approximately 70% interest and free shareholders own the remaining approximately 30%. In 1917 the U.S. subsidiary Merck & Co. was expropriated and has been an independent company ever since.
SOURCE EMD Serono, Inc.