Merck expands its Singapore hub to support Keytruda and Gardasil

Merck & Co. on Wednesday open a packaging plant in Singapore to support its best-selling cancer drug and vaccine, while inaugurating a plant that will manufacture next-generation inhalers.

The new facilities are part of the company’s five-year plan to invest up to $500 million in its Asia-Pacific regional headquarters in Singapore.

The first site will house a semi-automated vial packaging line for the production of Keytruda, Merck’s cancer immunotherapy, as well as three automated syringe packaging lines for its HPV vaccine Gardasil. Merck’s 72-acre manufacturing site in southwest Singapore has been filling Keytruda vials since 2021. The expansion adds secondary packaging, cold storage and a quality control lab.

Merck’s best-selling Keytruda generated $5.3 billion in sales in the second quarter, more than a third of the company’s total sales. Gardasil was the second highest with $1.7 billion in sales over the same period.

The inhaler facility, when it opens in 2026, will manufacture “next-generation inhalers for targeted drug delivery,” Merck said, without giving further details.

Merck does not currently sell many inhaled medications, but is developing an inhaled medication for pulmonary arterial hypertension that is currently under investigation. Phase 2/3 study. This treatment is part of the company’s plans to grow its cardiovascular drug business over the next decade.

Merck estimates that the added facilities will create around 100 jobs and increase the number of employees to more than 1,800 in Singapore. Merck has invested $2 billion in the Southeast Asian city-state since it began operations in 1997.

The $500 million investment represents less than 3% of the company’s $20 billion five-year capital spending plan, which includes projects supporting oncology, vaccines and animal health products. Last year, Merck spent $4.4 billion on global capital expenditure, including $2.8 billion in the United States

The company is “committed to Singapore as a strategic node in our company’s global manufacturing network, with a focus” on medicines for chronic diseases, cancer and vaccines, said Fernando Otero, associate vice president of MSD. Manufacturing in Singapore, in a press release.

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