• Allows customers to continue developing lifesaving medicines amid Covid-19 pandemic
  • Customers can view the lab studies "live" with Merck scientists

SINGAPORE - Media OutReach - 15 September 2020 - Merck, a leading science and technology company, today announced an expansion of its Singapore biosafety testing laboratory services. These services allow customers to conduct viral clearance studies that ensure the safety and quality of their biological drugs during the clinical development process.


Merck scientists conduct viral clearance studies in the BioReliance® Lab in Singapore (Photograph by Merck KGaA)

"With Covid-19 travel restricted between many APAC countries, this expansion allows our customers to continue developing lifesaving medicines without having to travel to our BioReliance® laboratory in Singapore," said Mr. Chris Ross, interim sector head of the Life Science business of Merck.

Viral capacity at Merck's Singapore lab has increased by 50 per cent to meet demand from biopharmaceutical and cell and gene therapy developers and manufacturers in Asia Pacific. Merck's BioReliance® technical team performs viral capacity studies that adhere to the customer's protocol using technology and process enhancements that allow the customer to have a similar experience remotely via secure, "live" feed video. Customers do not need to travel away from their home labs and can watch experiments and receive real-time updates as their process runs. The complete viral clearance services offered by Merck scientists include inactivation, filtration and chromatography, all conducted in a Good Laboratory Practice environment. All services are supported by project managers fluent in Chinese, Japanese and Korean and help ensure the safe release of leading medicines to patients around the world.

"We are delighted that Merck has decided to expand its BioReliance® lab in Singapore to include viral clearance capabilities," said Ms. Goh Wan Yee, Senior Vice President, Healthcare, Singapore Economic Development Board. "The move is especially timely, as it will facilitate faster and easier testing for biopharmaceutical companies in the region amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. In the long term, companies such as Merck contribute significantly to building a holistic supporting ecosystem which will enhance the biopharmaceutical industry."

Singapore is a leading global science and technology research and development hub committed to growing the biomedical science sector, which has made the life science industry a key economic driver. Demand for viral clearance services has been increasing since the inauguration of Merck's biosafety lab in Singapore in 2018. Travel restrictions related to the Covid-19 pandemic have accelerated the implementation of complete clearance services in the Singapore labs to support biologics customers in Asia. The complete viral clearance service is available in Singapore now, with the increased capacity coming online by April 2021.

Merck supports scientists around the world in efforts to accelerate development of treatments for and vaccines against Covid-19 by supplying materials, solutions and bioprocessing manufacturing platforms from its life science business. These offerings support more than 35 testing solutions, among them eight of the top 10 In-Vitro Diagnostic market leaders; more than 50 different vaccine candidates; and more than 20 monoclonal antibodies, plasma products and antivirals.

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