Allergopharma invests € 40 million in production facility

The German pharmaceutical, chemical and life science company Merck broke ground today on a new production facility for its Allergopharma unit in Reinbek near Hamburg.

The new facility, which is estimated to cost nearly € 40 million, will be used, among other things, to expand production to serve new markets such as China. In the two-story building, which will be constructed on the current Allergopharma premises, products for the diagnosis and treatment of type 1 allergies such as hay fever or allergic asthma are to be manufactured under ultrapure, sterile conditions. Completion of the building is scheduled for 2016.

"We want to fully exploit the potential of our business, whether in Emerging Markets or in rapidly growing and highly promising areas such as the global allergy market," said Stefan Oschmann, Merck Executive Board member with responsibility for Pharmaceuticals, including the Allergopharma unit. "By offering a highly competitive product range, we want to continue to tap the global allergy market."

The new building will have a surface area of more than 6,000 m2 and will contain cleanrooms for production, as well as plant engineering technology and offer space for further laboratory use as well as a visitors foyer. Initially, around 40 people will work in the new building.

"With this investment, which is largest in the history of Allergopharma, Merck is setting an important milestone to expand the Allergy business internationally and to secure the future of the Reinbek site," said Uta Kemmerich-Keil, CEO of Allergopharma.

Ralph Müller-Beck, State Secretary of the German federal state of Schleswig-Holstein, who is pleased by the further expansion of pharmaceutical production site in Reinbek, said, "The construction of a new facility for aseptic production in Reinbek is an impressive show of commitment to this location. Allergopharma has a strong footprint in the growing market segment for allergy therapeutics, which is not only securing jobs, but also benefiting the entire region.“

Merck has been the largest shareholder in Allergopharma since its establishment more than 40 years ago, and in December 2012 acquired the outstanding interest in the specific immunotherapy (SIT) specialist.

The market for allergy therapies (excluding symptomatic treatments) is showing strong global growth. The high world-wide market growth expected by market researchers will be generated on the one hand by an increasing number of people with allergies, and on the other hand by increasing use of specific immunotherapy in many emerging markets. Global growth is estimated to be between 5% and 10% per year.