Merck Animal Health, a division of Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, N.J., announced an investment of $100 million in facility expansion and enhancement efforts in its U.S. manufacturing site in DeSoto, Kansas. Investments to the site include a technological expansion of the vaccine production facility, which will come on line this year, plus an additional investment of $66 million that will provide for added enhancement capabilities to be realized over the coming years.
The DeSoto site develops and manufactures a broad portfolio of vaccines for Swine, Cattle and Equine with key technologies in research and development, manufacturing and quality operations. Particularly, the site houses large-scale fermentation and cell culture, blending and filling operations and packaging, along with monoclonal antibody manufacturing for Companion Animals.
“Merck Animal Health continues to be a strong source of innovation and growth in Kansas and are a leading force in vaccine production and research in the Animal Health Corridor,” said Governor Laura Kelly. “The upgrades to these facilities will lead to more advancements in animal health and reinforce the importance of supporting biotechnology companies in the state.”
“We are excited about the opportunity to bring capital improvements, expansion in our manufacturing capacity and capabilities and advanced technology to our DeSoto facility, thereby, strengthening our footprint in the state and increasing our ability to fulfill customer demand for our portfolio of products,” said Pamela Stoops, Executive Director, DeSoto Operations, Merck Animal Health. “Our Merck Animal Health business is making great strides in building our business for the future. That means we need to ensure our place as a leader in animal health with a substantial and sustainable U.S. facility footprint, which includes investment and expansion in our key facilities. As a leader in delivering innovative pharmaceuticals and vaccines to advance animal health and meet customer needs, this investment reflects our commitment in producing a range of animal health vaccines and pharmaceuticals for animal health diseases.”
Because of the company’s strong growth, broad product portfolio, and enhanced manufacturing capacity and capabilities, Merck Animal Health continues to explore ways in the U.S. and globally to improve existing facilities with upgraded equipment or technology, further expand its facilities with advanced technology platforms and increase capacity and capabilities in manufacturing to meet the rapidly growing demand and flexibility for its vaccine and biologic products.
“We’re so grateful to Merck Animal Health for their continued investment in our state,” Secretary of Commerce David Toland said. “Bioscience and Animal Health are major priorities for our state, and Merck is a strong leader in the industry. This move will benefit Merck, DeSoto, the Animal Health industry and our state as a whole.”
“We continually seek new ways to improve and enhance our production and manufacturing capacity at our facilities to meet the growing needs of our animal health customers,” said Scott Bormann, Senior Vice President, North America Commercial Operations, Merck Animal Health. “Our investment in DeSoto positions us for strong long-term growth and enables us to remain a valued partner to our loyal customers through reliability and responsiveness to their needs.”
Vaccines play an important role in protecting animal and public health. Timely and effective vaccination reduces the incidence and severity of disease, enabling efficient production of food animals. Vaccines also have had a significant impact on the health of pets, preventing serious illnesses and helping them live longer and healthier lives. The company continues to invest in expanding its manufacturing and distribution facilities in Millsboro, Delaware; Ames, Iowa; Worthington, Minnesota; and Elkhorn and Omaha, Nebraska.
The health and well-being of animals is the first and foremost priority of Merck Animal Health. The company strongly supports the responsible use of enhanced vaccine and pharmaceutical production platforms to improve and maintain the health of animals, as well as discovery of new tools to prevent, treat, and in some cases, even eradicate diseases.