Germany's Merck set to expand its Chinese R&D facilities in coming year

Merck KGaA of Darmstadt, Germany is poised to expand its R&D facilities in China next year in an effort to support development within the growing market segment.

The company expects the country's biopharma market to grow at a fast pace, and it could eventually represent 20% to 25% of the global market, Nikkei Asian Review reported.

The German company currently develops and produces biopharmaceuticals and materials for organic, light-emitting diode displays in China.

As part of the expansion, the company will open a new R&D center in the third-quarter next year in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, where advanced pharmaceutical and life-science research will be conducted.

“China is a major innovation hot spot and one of our most important growth markets," Kai Beckmann, a member of the company's executive board, told the publication.

Additionally, the company said it will debut a new life sciences center in Nantong, Jiangsu Province, where it currently has drug manufacturing operations. It also plans to launch a twice-a-year startup accelerator program.

The company recently announced it is expanding its basic pharmaceutical technologies operation in Shanghai into a core research hub.