MSD, a leading global biopharmaceutical company also known as Merck & Co., Inc., with headquarters in Kenilworth, N.J., U.S.A, set up its first sales and marketing office in Singapore in 1993. Since then, it has invested well over US$2 billion to expand its operations here, which range from manufacturing facilities, Asia-Pacific headquarters, animal health plant to its Translational Medicine Research Center and Global IT Innovation Hub.
MSD established a manufacturing plant in the 1990s in Tuas. These operations were expanded significantly in 2009 after the group merged with Schering Plough and took over the latter’s manufacturing and R&D facilities, which had been among the largest in Singapore.
Today, MSD’s manufacturing facility employs approximately more than 1,000 employees and produces a wide range of products from active pharmaceutical ingredients and finished products covering a wide range of diseases from diabetes to Hepatitis C and high cholesterol. By 2019, it will also start a new production facility to produce finished biologic products relating to advanced immuno-oncology treatment.
The Singapore operations contribute significantly to MSD’s global business, holding responsibility for key production steps related to more than 30% of the group’s total global revenue.
Another area that Singapore plays a key role in is advancing MSD’s research efforts, through a Translational Medicine Research Center at Biopolis which focuses on cutting-edge areas such as biomarker discovery. MSD collaborates with A*STAR, leading research centres and local universities to explore new biopharmaceutical frontiers.
In 2015, MSD opened a US$8 million Global IT Innovation Hub, which aims to harness innovations such as digital transformation, cybersecurity and bioinformatics to improve healthcare solutions. For instance, the hub collaborates with government agencies, startups, and leading hospitals in Singapore to leverage data science for development of innovative healthcare solutions.