Reinbek, Germany, December 12, 2013 – The German pharmaceutical, chemical and life science company Merck broke ground today on a new production facility for its Allergopharma unit in Reinbek near Hamburg. The new facility, which is estimated to cost nearly € 40 million, will be used, among other things, to expand production to serve new markets such as China. In the two-story building, which will be constructed on the current Allergopharma premises, products for the diagnosis and treatment of type 1 allergies such as hay fever or allergic asthma are to be manufactured under ultrapure, sterile conditions. Completion of the building is scheduled for 2016.
“We want to fully exploit the potential of our business, whether in Emerging Markets or in rapidly growing and highly promising areas such as the global allergy market,” said Stefan Oschmann, Merck Executive Board member with responsibility for Pharmaceuticals, including the Allergopharma unit. “By offering a highly competitive product range, we want to continue to tap the global allergy market.”
The new building will have a surface area of more than 6,000 m2 and will contain cleanrooms for production, as well as plant engineering technology and offer space for further laboratory use as well as a visitors foyer. Initially, around 40 people will work in the new building.
“With this investment, which is largest in the history of Allergopharma, Merck is setting an important milestone to expand the Allergy business internationally and to secure the future of the Reinbek site,” said Uta Kemmerich-Keil, CEO of Allergopharma.
Ralph Müller-Beck, State Secretary of the German federal state of Schleswig-Holstein, who is pleased by the further expansion of pharmaceutical production site in Reinbek, said, “The construction of a new facility for aseptic production in Reinbek is an impressive show of commitment to this location. Allergopharma has a strong footprint in the growing market segment for allergy therapeutics, which is not only securing jobs, but also benefiting the entire region.“
Merck has been the largest shareholder in Allergopharma since its establishment more than 40 years ago, and in December 2012 acquired the outstanding interest in the specific immunotherapy (SIT) specialist.
The market for allergy therapies (excluding symptomatic treatments) is showing strong global growth. The high world-wide market growth expected by market researchers will be generated on the one hand by an increasing number of people with allergies, and on the other hand by increasing use of specific immunotherapy in many emerging markets. Global growth is estimated to be between 5% and 10% per year.
Allergopharma was founded in 1969 by Hermal and Joachim Ganzer in Reinbek near Hamburg. Today the company has more than 450 employees, including 60 in research. Allergopharma was fully integrated into Merck Group of Darmstadt, Germany to form the Allergy business unit in 2013. Uta Kemmerich-Keil is the new CEO. By leveraging its expertise as a global company, Merck aims to expand its Allergy unit internationally, strengthen it in Europe as well as develop new products, and intends to invest significantly in this market segment. The Allergopharma success story is based primarily on hypoallergenic, high-dose products (allergoids) that can be used either preseasonally or perennially. Major benefits of subcutaneous specific immunotherapy (SCIT) that Allergopharma mainly offers are a close patient-doctor relationship, good patient compliance, good efficacy and a favorable cost-benefit ratio. Allergopharma is the global market leader in this field.
Allergen-specific immunotherapy (SIT), also known as hyposensitization or desensitization, allergy vaccination) is the only causal treatment for allergies to unavoidable allergens. Demanding and living up to the highest of quality standards and committed to ongoing allergy product improvement, Allergopharma has developed from a pharmaceutical company into an international leader in SIT research. As a leader in innovative recombinant (“bio-engineered”) allergens, Allergopharma is also ready for the future.
For more information please go to http://www.allergopharma.com
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Merck is a leading pharmaceutical, chemical and life science company with total revenues of € 11.2 billion in 2012, a history that began in 1668, and a future shaped by approx. 39,000 employees in 66 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 shareholders own the remaining approximately 30%. In 1917, the former U.S. subsidiary Merck & Co. was expropriated and has been an independent company ever since.