MSD LAUNCHES NEW MANUFACTURING FACILITIES IN SINGAPORE FOR INNOVATIVE MEDICINES AND VACCINES AS PART OF UP TO US$500 MILLION MULTIYEAR INVESTMENT

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October 5, 2022 10:30 am Asia/Singapore

  • Newly commissioned secondary packaging and sterile filling facility will increase production of immunotherapy for cancer patients in Singapore and the Asia Pacific region.
  • New manufacturing capabilities with fully automated and semi-automated packaging lines will significantly increase production of MSD’s cancer immunotherapy and vaccines
  • Inhaler production facility when ready in 2026 will manufacture next generation inhaler devices for targeted administration of medicines
  • Over 100 jobs requiring advanced manufacturing and digitalization skills will be created over the next few years.

SINGAPORE, October 5, 2022 – MSD (trade name of Merck & Co., Inc., Rahway, N.J., USA [NYSE: MRK]) announced the opening of a new secondary packaging facility to support the production of vaccines and biologics, including the company’s cancer immunotherapy products. MSD also broke ground for a new inhaler production facility for the manufacture of new generation inhaler medicines in Singapore.

A continued, multiyear investment in Singapore

The new manufacturing facilities are key components of the company’s up to US$500 million investment over five years that started in 2020. This is in addition to the US$2 billion invested since the start of MSD’s manufacturing operations in Singapore in 1997.

Other components of the total investment include new technology to further the company’s environmental sustainability goals, and modernization of MSD’s information technology (IT) infrastructure in support of digitizing the facilities.

The opening of the new secondary packaging facility and ground-breaking for the inhaler production facility located at Tuas, was witnessed by Singapore’s Minister for Trade & Industry, Mr Gan Kim Yong who was the Guest-of-Honour, and Mr Robert Davis, Chief Executive Officer and President of MSD (known as Merck & Co., in the U.S. and Canada), today.

“MSD is committed to Singapore as a strategic node in our company’s global manufacturing network with a focus on producing innovative medicines to treat chronic diseases and cancer as well as vaccines that prevent infectious diseases for patients living in Singapore and throughout the Asia Pacific region and beyond,” said Fernando Otero, associate vice president, MSD Manufacturing Division, Singapore.

“The talent, research, and technology capabilities that first attracted our company to Singapore has been a key incentive for our continuing investment. We’re delighted to further invest in building technologically advanced facilities and highly skilled manufacturing here,” he added. 

The investment is estimated to create over 100 new jobs over the next few years to support the new facility and multi-year investment plan, with many positions requiring advanced manufacturing and digital skills. This would bring the company’s total employees in Singapore to more than 1,800 over the next few years.  

Goh Wan Yee, Senior Vice President & Head (Healthcare), Singapore Economic Development Board, said: “As the gateway to Asia Pacific, Singapore has the talent, infrastructure, and supply chain network for healthcare companies to innovate, manufacture, and commercialise products and solutions for the region. By tapping on Singapore’s deep capabilities in advanced manufacturing and digital, MSD’s latest expansion will enable it to produce more innovative medicines and vaccines to meet the region’s needs. We look forward to strengthening our long-term partnership with MSD, supporting its continued growth and creating more good job opportunities for Singaporeans.”

Bringing breakthrough pharmaceutical innovations closer to Asia Pacific patients

These new facilities are located within MSD’s existing 72-acre, multi-product manufacturing hub in Tuas.

The secondary packaging facility will house a semi-automated, vial-packaging line to produce KEYTRUDA® (pembrolizumab), an immunotherapy to treat certain cancers, and three fully automated syringe-packaging lines to produce the company’s GARDASIL®9 (Human Papillomavirus 9-valent Vaccine, Recombinant), an HPV vaccine.

In 2021, the site commenced the sterile filling process of KEYTRUDA® vials. Secondary packaging, cold storage and a quality control laboratory will be a part of the expanded facility which further adds to the supply chain footprint for this product in Singapore.

The new inhaler medicine facility, when ready in 2026, will manufacture next generation inhaler devices for targeted administration of medicines.

“MSD has been in Singapore since 1993 and continues to invest significantly in Singapore to impact patients worldwide through our innovative medicines and vaccines. The launch of the new secondary packaging facility and ground-breaking for the new inhaler facility today highlights the value that biopharmaceutical innovation brings to Singapore, contributing to the health and wellbeing of the nation and the region,” said David Peacock, President, Asia Pacific, MSD.

“It further demonstrates our commitment to making a difference by bringing our medicines and vaccines to people as quickly as possible, while ensuring that the Asia Pacific region is well-positioned to manage future healthcare challenges,” he added.  

Singapore is home to MSD’s Asia Pacific hub  

MSD has unique entities in Singapore that bring together all of MSD’s business divisions, encompassing Manufacturing, Research & Development (R&D), Human Health, Animal Health, one of its IT Hubs, and our Asia Pacific regional headquarters.

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About MSD

At MSD, 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 www.msd.com and http://www.msd-singapore.com; and connect with us on TwitterLinkedIn and YouTube.

Forward-Looking Statement of Merck & Co., Inc., Rahway, N.J., USA

This news release of Merck & Co., Inc., Rahway, N.J., USA (the “company”) includes “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are based upon the current beliefs and expectations of the company’s management and are subject to significant risks and uncertainties. If underlying assumptions prove inaccurate or risks or uncertainties materialize, actual results may differ materially from those set forth in the forward-looking statements. Risks and uncertainties include but are not limited to, general industry conditions and competition; general economic factors, including interest rate and currency exchange rate fluctuations; the impact of the global outbreak of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19); the impact of pharmaceutical industry regulation and health care legislation in the United States and internationally; global trends toward health care cost containment; technological advances, new products and patents attained by competitors; challenges inherent in new product development, including obtaining regulatory approval; the company’s ability to accurately predict future market conditions; manufacturing difficulties or delays; financial instability of international economies and sovereign risk; dependence on the effectiveness of the company’s patents and other protections for innovative products; and the exposure to litigation, including patent litigation, and/or regulatory actions.

The company undertakes no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Additional factors that could cause results to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements can be found in the company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2021 and the company’s other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) available at the SEC’s Internet site (www.sec.gov).

Media Contact

MSD in Asia Pacific:

Garry Daniels

M: +65 9739 9970

E: garry.daniels@merck.com

Stephanie Yu

M: +65 8518 6804

E: stephanie.yu@merck.com  

MSD in Singapore:

Tabitha Ang

M: + 9879 8777

E: tabitha.ang@merck.com