EMD Serono, the biopharmaceutical business of Merck, Darmstadt, Germany, in North America, has announced a $12 million investment for the expansion of its R&D facility in Billerica, Massachusetts. The new building will span more than 30,000 square feet and accommodate approximately 120 new and current employees whose focus will be on accelerating innovation in R&D, with a focus on oncology, immuno-oncology and immunology.
“The purpose of this expansion is to advance innovation and knowledge-sharing across our R&D teams, with the goal of accelerating the discovery and development of new therapies for patients in need,” said Luciano Rossetti, M.D., head of Global R&D for Merck, Darmstadt, Germany. “This investment is a reflection of our strengthening footprint in the Boston area and in the U.S. as a leader in biopharma.”
With approximately 2,000 R&D professionals working across four global R&D hubs—Darmstadt, Germany; Boston, U.S.; Tokyo, Japan; and Beijing, China—Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany endeavors to make a meaningful difference in the lives of people with serious medical needs.
“The growth of EMD Serono’s Billerica campus over the past several years and its decision to continue to grow in Massachusetts is a testament to our state’s leadership in biopharmaceutical innovation,” said Robert K. Coughlin, President & CEO of MassBio, the life sciences trade association. “The company’s long-standing investment here ensures that we continue to retain and attract the top scientific minds and that the medical advances that make a real difference in people’s lives occur here in Massachusetts.”
The new two-story, 30,000 square foot building will be an extension of the existing Sagamore Building and will feature amenities including open plan work areas, a central auditorium, and numerous meeting spaces including bleacher seating for spontaneous collaboration and interaction. In addition to seeking LEED certification to complement the Sagamore Building’s Platinum LEED status, EMD Serono will also apply for the WELL Institute certification. The WELL Institute standards measures the human health and wellness of occupants in the building environment. If achieved, EMD Serono would have one of the first projects in the U.S. with that certification distinction.
Construction on the expansion is scheduled to begin in May 2016 with a planned completion date of June 2017. In addition to its R&D facility in Billerica, EMD Serono’s corporate headquarters are located in Rockland, Massachusetts and in total the company has approximately 800 employees across the state.