Merck Serono (MS) opened the doors on its new $225 m R&D center in Beijing, China this week. The center will focus on drugs for cancer, neurodegenerative disorders, autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. MS says these programs will be tailored to specific target populations using biomarkers and companion diagnostics to identify likely responders. (See previous blog post on Roche for more on this trend).
The new R&D center complements other Merck Serono hubs in the US, Germany and Switzerland. MS management also notes that it is keeping a very close watch on the developing domestic China drug market. China is expected to become the number 2 pharma market (behind the US) within the next 6 years. So this R&D move also gets Merck Serono closer to a patient population that it hopes to serve more in the very near future. See Fierce Biotech.
Posted by Bruce Lehr Sep 2nd 2011.