EMD Serono Holds Topping Off Ceremony to Mark Milestone in the Expansion of the Company’s Billerica, MA Research Facility
Expansion Demonstrates EMD Serono’s Commitment to the Future of the Life Sciences Industry in Massachusetts, Adding 100 New Research Jobs When Complete
ROCKLAND, Mass., October 19 /PRNewswire/ — EMD Serono, Inc., an affiliate of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, marked the expansion of its research facility in Billerica, MA today, with a topping off ceremony. Executives from EMD Serono were joined by Congresswoman Niki Tsongas, Gregory Bialecki, Secretary of Housing and Development, State Representative William Greene and Marc T. Lombardo, Chairman of the Billerica Board of Selectman and other officials to commemorate the research expansion milestone.
“Our vision is clear: to discover new treatments for unmet medical needs,” said Fereydoun Firouz, President and CEO of EMD Serono, Inc. “By increasing our innovative research capabilities through this ambitious expansion project, EMD Serono will further strengthen its ability to drive significant scientific advances in neurodegenerative diseases, cancer and fertility. Our commitment to the growth and future of EMD Serono is steadfast, and to the life sciences industry as a whole in the state of Massachusetts.”
The expansion of the Billerica facility, announced in 2008, represents a $65 million investment. Construction of the new 140,000 square foot facility is expected to be complete in late 2010. The new facility will support the company’s commitment to developing a state-of-the-art center of excellence focused on discovering innovative treatments for unmet medical needs.
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 fertility. The expansion in Billerica will bring the discovery scientists closer to approximately 50 colleagues in Technical Operations who specialize in process development and protein production for early clinical trials. This collaboration will play a critical role in creating an innovative and collaborative campus environment for drug discovery and development. The construction of the Billerica facility will result in approximately 200 to 300 jobs, and more than 100 new, permanent research jobs in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Once complete, the new research facility will accommodate over 115,000 square feet (sf) of lab and office space, consisting of: 25,000 sf of chemistry and screening labs; 25,000 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. In addition, 25,000 sf will be the central node space, which will consist of the reception area, cafeteria/auditorium, fitness center and offices and conference rooms. In total, the completed EMD Serono research facility will be 140,000 sq ft. EMD Serono is currently working for Leadership in Energy and Environment Design (LEED) certification within the following categories: indoor environment quality, sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere and materials and resources.
“It has been Merck Serono’s vision and commitment to expand our global research presence within the US,” said Dr. Bernhard Kirschbaum, Executive Vice President, Research & Development, Merck Serono, an affiliate of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany. “We look forward to creating a fully integrated research institute in Billerica where scientists can grow and thrive intellectually, while continuing to develop innovative medicines for unmet medical needs and benefiting from collaborations with world-renowned academic and research institutions right here in Massachusetts.”
The Billerica facility is part of Merck Serono’s research hub in the United States, one of the three main research hubs within Merck Serono, together with the research hubs located in Germany and Switzerland. 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 fertility, oncology and neurodegenerative diseases. The R&D site in Germany is focused on the therapeutic areas of autoimmune & inflammatory diseases and oncology. The R&D site in Switzerland is focused on the therapeutic areas of neurodegenerative diseases and autoimmune & inflammatory diseases.
EMD Serono, Inc. hired the following Massachusetts organizations to participate in the Research facility project: Jones Lang LaSalle, a global real estate services and construction management corporation; Ellenzweig as the architect of the facility; BR+A, LLC Consulting Engineers as the Mechanical Engineers; The BSC Group as the Civil Engineers, and GEI as the Geotechnical Engineers.
As a commitment to the Billerica, MA community and to further the company’s mission of meeting unmet medical needs, EMD Serono also announced it is holding the “EMD Serono Young Scientist Essay Contest” with Billerica Memorial High School. Senior students are invited to write an original essay on why they are interested in a career in science; the competition winner will be granted a monetary stipend that can be used toward the purchase of college supplies/books or tuition expenses.
About EMD Serono
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) and Serostim® (somatropin (rDNA origin) 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). 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 1000 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 € 7.6 billion in 2008, a history that began in 1668, and a future shaped by 32,800 employees in 59 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.