MilliporeSigma opens its first viral clearance lab in China

MilliporeSigma has completed the first construction phase of its China Biologics Testing Center, opening a viral clearance (VC) laboratory in Shanghai.

MilliporeSigma, the life sciences division of Merck KGaA, says the 5,000 square meter center is the “first of its kind” for the firm in China. And according to the company, the $28 million VC laboratory helps meet the double-digit demand for VC services in the country as it enables its customers to locally conduct viral clearance studies from pre-clinical development to commercialization.

“The opening of this viral clearance lab signifies a new chapter in our partnership with our Chinese clients who are at the forefront of reshaping modern medicine,” Dirk Lange, head of life science services, life science business sector at MilliporeSigma said.

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“This lab and future labs will provide our Chinese customers with critical local services backed by our 75 years of global experience in the testing market.”

The firm says that by adding viral clearance study capacity, MilliporeSigma is supporting what it considers as one of the most critical steps in drug development. The company claims that the studies play a key role in Investigational New Drug (IND) processes and Biologics License Application (BLA) filings, which are a requirement by regulatory agencies to move to commercial production.

In total, MilliporeSigma expects the VC laboratory to create approximately 120 jobs by 2023 and the second phase of the center is anticipated to open late next year, offering cell line characterization as well as release testing services.

“This opening signifies another major investment milestone in our strategic journey in China, and to our commitment to building a robust presence within the country for our Chinese clients and partners,” said Marc Jaffre, managing director for China, MilliporeSigma.

“With the strong growth expected over the next decade, we look forward to hiring more aspirational local talent to meet that demand.”