MSD unveils a new research laboratory in Schachen representing an investment of CHF 20 million in the facility

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20.06.2023 08:00 Europe/Zurich

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Schachen, June 20, 2023. Today MSD Werthenstein BioPharma GmbH officially unveiled a new research laboratory building at its Schachen facility. Nearly CHF 20 million have been invested in the project over the past three years. The new building represents a substantial expansion of laboratory capacity at the facility. “In the future, more than 20 analysts and engineers will work in the additional 350 square meters the laboratory space makes available,” says site manager, Dr. Corinna Lenz.

The development of analytical methods for new active substances and medicines is one of the main focuses at MSD’s Schachen facility. Just under one sixth of the approximately 490 employees work in this area. “The need for additional laboratory capacity here has increased dramatically in recent years, and we are very pleased to now have the new laboratories up and running,” said Dr. John Naber, Director of Biological Analytical Research and Development. The new area houses various specialized laboratories, focusing on a range of activities from the examination of cell cultures, bioassays and PCR analyses to mass spectroscopy or biochemistry activities.

The Schachen facility has classically been utilized to develop methods to analyze starting materials as well as intermediate and end products. Now, the facility will also be working on analysis methods that can be used to seamlessly monitor and control a continuous production process. Continuous production processes are still very much the outliers in the pharmaceutical industry due to the fact the technical and regulatory requirements are extremely high. The new laboratories are also undertaking the ongoing goal to further advance development within its walls.

Following the official unveiling of the new facilities, all employees at the site had the opportunity to visit the new building and have their colleagues explain the wide range of devices and equipment.

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About MSD Merck Sharp & Dohme

At MSD Merck, Sharp & Dohme, known as Merck & Co., Inc., Rahway, NJ, USA in the United States and Canada, we are unified around our purpose: We use the power of leading-edge science to save and improve lives around the world. For more than 130 years, we have brought hope to humanity through the development of important medicines and vaccines. We aspire to be the premier research-intensive biopharmaceutical company in the world – and today, we are at the forefront of research to deliver innovative health solutions that advance the prevention and treatment of diseases in people and animals. We foster a diverse and inclusive global workforce and operate responsibly every day to enable a safe, sustainable and healthy future for all people and communities. For more information, visit and connect with us on TwitterLinkedIn and YouTube.

MSD Merck Sharp & Dohme in Switzerland

In Switzerland, MSD Merck, Sharp & Dohme employs around 1,000 people at five sites in the cantons of Lucerne and Zurich. At our site in Zurich, in “The Circle”, we operate the newly opened global innovation and development hub. Our main therapeutic areas are oncology, infectious diseases, immunology, and diabetes. We also operate a broad portfolio of vaccines for the prevention of diseases in children, adolescents, and adults. Switzerland is part of MSD’s global clinical research program with more than 30 clinical trials annually. At our site in Schachen, we manufacture drugs for global clinical trials and operate a forensic laboratory. MSD also takes local responsibility for the community and has been involved in the “Trendtage Gesundheit Luzern” and the Alliance Health competence. In 2023, MSD received the “Top Employer Switzerland” award for the eleventh time in a row.

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About MSD Schachen

Approximately 490 employees from around 30 countries work at MSD Schachen, and it is one of only two sites in MSD’s global network that provides patients who are participating clinical trials with new medicines. The clinical trial medicines are packaged and labeled here and then shipped to clinical trial sites around the world. In recent years, MSD has continued to expand this site, which specializes in development programs. In total, investments approaching CHF 150 million have flowed into Schachen since 2012. In addition to developing analytical methods, MSD has a clinical-scale biotechnical production facility here that manufactures new active substances and also has capacity to complete sterile packaging for new medicines. The facility also has a forensic laboratory that works to combat counterfeiting of MSD products; it is one of three facilities that maintains this focus within the worldwide MSD network.

Media Contact MSD Switzerland

Jean-Blaise Defago (Policy & Communications Director) | Tel. 058 618 30 30

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