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Fostering Biomanufacturing Collaborations

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Throughout 2016 and 2017, Merck is relaunching its global network of biomanufacturing science training centers, providing customers with end-to-end process development support and training.

We spoke to Daniel Stamm, Head of Global Process Solutions Commercial at Merck, to learn more about the new M Lab™ Collaboration Centers and the benefits they offer customers.

AB: Can you tell me more about the training offered at M Lab?

DS: Our approach with the M Lab™ Collaboration Centers involves partnering with customers to ensure they have the support and technical expertise they need to be successful in their manufacturing processes for the long term. In our M Lab™ Collaboration Centers, we not only partner with customers to trouble-shoot and solve specific problems – we also offer formal training courses. Both hands-on training and classroom-style theory courses are offered in our M Lab™ Collaboration Centers around the world and, in many cases, our team of experts has delivered customized training directly at the customer site. The curricula may vary from region to region so we encourage our customers to let us know what type of education they need most so we can deliver the right mix of educational programs where and when they are needed.

AB: Why does Merck feel it’s important to have hands on facilities?

DS: A hands-on approach makes it easier to move discussions between the lab and other collaboration and learning areas within the center with minimal gowning and re-gowning. Customers can bring their own samples to the center to work on a specific challenge in a real-time environment with the support of our seasoned technical experts. Although we offer a rich variety of online information, product finding apps, scale up tools, etc., many of our customers have told us that there is no substitute for a hands-on experience.

AB: How have the centers evolved since they were established in 1995?

DS: Previously known as biomanufacturing science training centers, our new state-of-the-art M Lab™ Collaboration Centers provide a simulated manufacturing environment for experiments, troubleshooting, and problem solving, in a non-GMP setting. These centers foster education and full end-to-end process development support. Customers participate in product demonstrations, hands-on training and proof-of-concept work, as well as apply best practices and new approaches to develop, optimize and scale-up processes and simplify global technology transfer.

AB: How will your customers benefit from this relaunch?

DS: We have created a unique and inspiring setting where customers can explore new ways to increase productivity and improve processes in close collaboration with our team of experts. Each M Lab™ Collaboration Center welcomes customers and collaboration partners from government, academia, regulatory bodies and industry associations, offering application best practices and knowledge sharing tailored to address the specific needs of local pharmaceutical manufacturers. For those who cannot travel to a center, we can arrange virtual visits and tours. We can also conduct remote training and troubleshooting sessions. In addition, we offer a wealth of supporting information, application notes and educational videos on our website www.merckmillipore.com/mlab.


Daniel Stamm was speaking to Ashley Board, Managing Editor at Technology Networks.