The announcement was made by Karl-Ludwig Kley, Chairman of the Executive Board of Merck, during a press conference held today at the Bari plant, in the presence of the Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, and of the President of the Italian Pharma Industries Association Farmindustria, Massimo Scaccabarozzi.
Within Merck Serono's global biotech production network, the Bari site is part of fill & finish operations alongside the facilities in Darmstadt and Aubonne (Switzerland). The drugs produced within this global network are seeing long-term growing demand, especially as regards those to treat infertility. The new production facility in Bari, southern Italy, is to be commissioned in 2017 for the sterile filling and packaging of liquid drugs into syringes, vials and ampoules (fill & finish).
"To make Merck fit for the future, we are also investing in modern, expanded production capacities in order to meet the rising demand for our drugs," said Kley, making reference to the "Fit for 2018" transformation and growth program. During his visit to the Bari site today, he explained the reasons for the investment: "This is part of our growth plans for Merck and for the Merck Serono division in particular here in Bari, where we have excellent conditions thanks to highly skilled employees and a very good infrastructure. Patients will also benefit from this investment as we secure the supply of drugs that improve the quality of life of people around the globe."
Merck generates more than half of the sales of its Merck Serono division with biotech products. Among others, the company is the world market leader in the treatment of infertility. Around two million babies of the five million born with the help of infertility drugs worldwide were conceived with the aid of Merck Serono products.