Merck Animal Health is expanding a vaccine manufacturing facility at its Biosciences Center, Boxmeer campus in the Netherlands. The $18 million expansion doubles the company’s tissue culture department capacity where antigens for viral and parasitological vaccines are manufactured.
The existing facility manufactures more than 100 different vaccines and is expected to be operational with the expansion by 2013. The manufacturing increased ability will allow for larger general production and large-scale emergency production of veterinary vaccines within a short time period such as during outbreaks of emerging diseases.
“Animal health is an important part of Merck’s business going forward and the company is committed to the strategic development of the animal health business,” said Dr. John T. McCubbins, senior vice president for animal health manufacturing at Merck Animal Health.
The tissue culture department specializes in biotechnological production processes that require high flexibility, using roller bottles, cell factories and other cell and virus culture and purification systems. In 2010, the department produced 12 different antigens, totaling almost 300 million vaccine doses for cattle, horses, dogs, cats, fish and swine.
“The investment in the extension of the tissue culture department here in Boxmeer is of significant importance as it demonstrates the continuous commitment of Merck towards Biosciences Center Boxmeer as a strategic site within our global Animal Health network,” said Dr. Helmut Finkler, chairman of animal health operations at Merck Animal Health.