Merck & Company (NYSE:MRK) reports it will establish a new Research & Development headquarters in Beijing, China. Merck also announced the company will commit $1.5 billion in research and development money in China over the next five years.
“We have plans to invest in research and development at all stages of vaccine discovery and development, starting with basic early discovery all the way through clinical programmes,” said Peter Kim, President Of Merck Research Laboratories. “We see opportunities to include China in our worldwide clinical trials for our drugs and vaccines.”
Other drugmakers including Pfizer (NYSE:PFE), Abbott (NYSE:ABT), and Novartis (NYSE:NVS) have made huge investments in China over the past several years.
Merck, known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, reported the new research facility will be located in Wangjing Park, one of Beijing’s rapidly expanding science and technology parks, the facility will consist of 47,000 square meters of office and laboratory space. The first phase of construction, scheduled to be completed by 2014, will provide capacity for approximately 600 employees working in the areas of drug discovery, translational research, clinical development, regulatory affairs and external scientific research programs.
“The establishment of the MSD Asia R&D headquarters represents an important milestone as we implement our strategy of building capabilities, and relationships to succeed in fast growing geographic regions,” said Peter S. Kim, Ph.D., president, Merck Research Laboratories. “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.”
Merck also maintains its commercial headquarters for MSD in China in Shanghai and has manufacturing capabilities at other locations throughout China.
Shares of Merck were trading at 35.27, up 0.03% in the premarket at 9:03 am ET today.