GOVERNOR PATRICK AND EMD SERONO ANNOUNCE $50 MILLION BILLERICA EXPANSION
New Center of Excellence in Life Sciences Research Will Create 100 New Jobs
BOSTON - Wednesday, April 16, 2008 - Governor Deval Patrick today announced life sciences company EMD Serono, Inc., and Merck Serono - both affiliates of Merck KGaA of Germany - will invest $50 million to expand its Billerica facility, creating at least 100 new jobs.
The announcement comes a week after the Governor delivered a major speech outlining his economic plan to create a culture of opportunity focused on restrained spending and long- and short-term investments, while preparing for the impacts of a softening national economy.
"I am delighted that EMD Serono has decided to expand in Billerica. The region's tremendous talent and resources will now be at Serono's disposal in their work to improve the quality of life for people living with serious diseases," said Governor Patrick. "Today's announcement exemplifies the value of the Life Sciences Initiative in encouraging economic development and job growth throughout Massachusetts."
"This announcement reflects Merck KGaA's strong commitment to expand EMD Serono and anchor our US operations in Massachusetts," said Elmar Schnee, President of Merck Serono. "We recognize the significant value of augmenting our research capabilities in Boston - a region with tremendous life-sciences influence not only across the US, but globally as well."
EMD Serono is a leader in the United States biopharmaceutical arena, which focuses on fertility treatments and neurodegenerative diseases and integrates cutting-edge science with patient support systems. The $50 million investment will support the construction of a Center of Excellence in discovery, which will accommodate approximately 200 scientists specializing in cancer and fertility research, and approximately 50 technical operations employee specializing in process development and protein production.
The new site's proximity to the company's Billerica protein production facility, which manufactures products for early stage clinical testing, will allow for collaborative interactions and support the rapid transition from research to manufacturing.
Construction on the new Billerica site will take approximately two years, beginning early next year. The total square footage of the Billerica Campus will be approximately 210,000 square feet, including more than 160,000 square feet of lab space. The expansion in Billerica will also create additional commercial space opportunities in Rockland, as the company strengthens its leadership position in its current therapeutic areas of neurodegenerative diseases and endocrinology, and builds the necessary infrastructure to support an increase in U.S. clinical trials and commercial growth.
"I would like to thank Governor Patrick for his unwavering commitment to strengthening Massachusetts' reputation as a global leader in science and medicine," said Fereydoun Firouz, CEO and President of EMD Serono, Inc. "The partnership and commitment of Governor Patrick, Senate President Murray, and Speaker of the House DiMasi to make the Life Sciences Initiative a reality will help ensure that Massachusetts' existing life sciences companies stay and thrive in the state, and that new life sciences companies come to Massachusetts to further enhance our position at the forefront of healthcare."
Today's announcement comes on the heels of the release of encouraging information about the professional, scientific and business services sectors as a whole. The Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development reported earlier today that monthly survey estimates show that 2,900 new jobs were added in Massachusetts in March, the largest monthly increase since November of last year and the sixth consecutive monthly increase in jobs. Of the 2,900 jobs, 1,000 came from the professional, scientific and business services.