Merck Serono opens doors at R&D shop in Beijing

As the world's drugmakers angle for their share of the fast-growing Chinese market, Merck KGaA's Serono unit has started operations this week at its R&D facility in Beijing, China Daily reported. The main focus of the research shop will be individualized treatments for cancer and other diseases, according to the Chinese newspaper.

The facility has opened nearly two years after the company announced it would pour $225 million into the operation and employ hundreds of workers. Complementing its research hubs in the U.S., Germany and Switzerland, the Beijing lab will focus on drugs for cancer, neurodegenerative disorders, autoimmune and inflammatory diseases that are tailored for specific patients based on their genetics and other biological traits, according to the article.

While making research investments in the country, Merck Serono is keeping a close eye on the growing pharmaceutical market in China. Wayne Paterson, the company's executive VP of emerging markets, said he expects China to become the No. 2 market for the company after the U.S. within 6 years.

- see the article in China Daily