Germany-based pharmaceutical company Merck has unveiled its plans to expand its facility in Lenexa, Kansas, US, to add 9,100m² of lab space and the capability to produce cell culture media.

According to the company, cell culture media is an important raw material used in the manufacture of life-saving therapies, vaccines, gene therapies, and monoclonal antibodies.

Also, a steady supply of high-quality cell culture media is essential for delivering the necessary concentration and protein quality for therapeutics.

Merck is investing €23m to expand the cell culture media production capacity at the Lenexa facility, by installing a new dry powder media manufacturing line.

The investment will enhance both local and global production capacity to meet current demand and brings 60 jobs to the Kansas City area, said the German drugmaker.

Merck process solutions life science business sector head Darren Verlenden said: “The Lenexa expansion reflects our commitment to meeting the dynamic needs of our customers worldwide and delivering on our growth plans.

“This expansion makes Lenexa the company’s largest dry powder cell culture media facility and Center of Excellence in North America.

“Investing in the region reflects our strategy to expand and diversify our supply chain to ensure we meet current and future demand for cell culture media.”

In a separate development, Veeva Systems announced that Merck has selected the Veeva Vault MedInquiry application as its global medical information management system.

The Vault MedInquiry is said to help biopharma companies effectively manage global medical information requests and streamline cross-functional business processes.

With the new medical information management system, Merck now has a unified global framework for medical information management.

The connects intake channels, safety, quality, content, and CRM systems, and teams, to ensure compliance, meeting the regional and local requirements of the countries they serve.

Merck global medical information scientific director Priya Bhasin said: “Veeva Vault MedInquiry provides our users with a cloud-based, industry-standard system which improves performance as well as user experience, strengthening our communications with customers.”

Merck global medical information senior director Stacey Eggert said: “Our close collaboration with Veeva was key in ensuring a fully integrated environment and enabling fast-paced innovation to help our global teams deliver superior services faster.”