Innovation

MSD continues to foster vibrant, creative workspaces as it launches new Zurich hub

A conversation with Klaus Beck, VP MSD Global Medical Affairs EMEAC, about MSD's new Innovation and Development Hub in Zurich.

15 June, 2020

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While we all come from widely diverse backgrounds, cultures, ethnicities, every person at MSD shares one thing in common: we are all driven by our company’s mission, to save and improve lives. At the heart of this mission is a steadfast, unparalleled commitment to science and innovation. As we accelerate the establishment of our new global innovation and development hub in Zurich, my pride in our company continues to grow. It’s rewarding and fulfilling to be part of an initiative that will have a true impact on global health.

At MSD, we follow where the science leads, and aspire to be a premier research-intensive biopharmaceutical company. Since 1892, our researchers have helped to find new ways to treat and prevent illness – from the discovery of vitamin B1, to the first measles vaccines and the first statins to treat high cholesterol. The company has made leading contributions in the treatment of coronary heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, HIV and disorders in the area of neurology and ophthalmology. Today, we focus our research on conditions that represent some of the world’s most significant health challenges – like cancer, HIV and antibiotic-resistant infections. And, we are on the front lines in the fight against global outbreaks, like Ebola and COVID-19.

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Although our focus – delivering medicines and vaccines that have the potential to help millions of people around the world – is still the same, the way we get there has changed.

Klaus Beck

VP MSD Global Medical Affairs EMEAC

We have opened a number of key sites in innovation hotbed locations, which allows us to create cross-functional teams in an intimate, collaborative and entrepreneurial environment. Those teams are charged and empowered to build exciting partnerships across the academic and wider scientific communities. Some of those sites are focused on preclinical stages, like our thriving facilities in Boston, composed of teams with a focus on discovery research in immunology, oncology, diabetes and neuroscience. The teams at our site in South San Francisco are expanding our innovative research in biologics and our researchers in the Discovery Center in London focus on neuroscience and other key therapeutic areas with large unmet medical needs. Other sites have yet different scopes, for example our IT and digital innovation hub in Prague, but the thread binding these sites together is their contribution to meaningful improving patients’ lives.

While our sites all support our company’s mission, each has its own distinct focus. Our Zurich hub is unique in that:

  • It is the only hub in our company focused on accelerating both, the development and commercialization of our medicines and vaccines
  • It includes multiple functions represented from our MSD Research Laboratories (MRL) and our Human Health (HH) commercial organizations, dissolving the traditional boundaries between market development and support. Having these teams co-located creates a dynamic environment – one that allows for collaboration, innovation and rapid decision-making.

Consistent with our aspiration to paradigm-shifting innovation and agility, the new hub will be located in THE CIRCLE, an exciting new space being constructed at the Zurich international airport that will include a convention center, medical establishments and many other local and international businesses. In addition to having the latest technology advances, the new space has its own dramatically sculpture parkland and conforms with the highest sustainability standards (LEED Platinum and Swiss Minergie certified).

What we’re establishing in Zurich presents a rare and challenging career opportunity, and we are starting to hire new talent now.

Klaus Beck

Our multi-functional work environment will provide our team members with unique opportunity to connect with many contributing functions, both from our MRL and HH organization. In addition to building and expanding their professional networks, our employees will have the opportunity to grow within our global organization to explore their interests and realize their potential. If you want to be part of bold, groundbreaking science and innovation – challenging preconceptions, advancing new ideas, in pursuit of changing the lives of patients – then we will want to talk with you!

Looking ahead, I’m excited to see the impact of this collaborative platform (after all, diversity in all dimensions is a key enabler of innovation). I’m excited for MSD to build relationships and work side-by-side with some of the most highly regarded research centers, medical institutions and academic institutions in Switzerland and across Europe. And, most of all, I’m excited to see how the Zurich hub can contribute to our company’s aim of saving lives.

CH-NON-00658, 06/2021