Pharma giant Merck will build 47,000 square meters of new lab and office space in Beijing that is planned as its new Asian R&D headquarters. The first phase should open in 2014 for 600 workers, who will handle everything from discovery through clinical development and regulatory projects.
Peter S. Kim, Ph.D., president of Merck Research Laboratories, stated "By strategically locating in China, we are able to complement our existing R&D capabilities and facilitate new collaborations with scientists in the region and across emerging markets." The R&D complex is part of Merck's ambitious $1.5 billion plan to grow a major research operation in the country, which it sees as an important emerging market.
Primary disease focuses for the Merck investigators will be CVS disease and diabetes, both big growth markets in China. Merck expects its relatively low-cost China R&D operations to tackle new drugs that can be marketed around the world. Shifting research work to China helps eliminate some costly overhead--and employees--in the U.S. and Europe while giving the company a more prominent place in the Chinese pharma industry. See Fierce Biotech.
Posted by Bruce Lehr Dec 6th 2011.