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Merck KGaA expands its mRNA capabilities through AmpTec acquisition

12 Jan 2021

AmpTec's differentiated PCR-based technology has shown to have advantages compared with other technologies for mRNA manufacturing

Merck KGaA has added to its lipid manufacturing expertise with the acquisition of AmpTec, a Germany-based, mRNA contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO).

The transaction strengthens Merck's capabilities to develop and manufacture mRNA for its customers for use in vaccines, treatments and diagnostics applicable in COVID-19 and many other disease.

AmpTec's polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based technology will allow Merck to provide a unique and integrated offering across the mRNA value chain, which will significantly decrease supply chain complexity and enhance speed-to-market.

Lipids constitute one of the critical components for the formulation of mRNA therapeutics including COVID-19 vaccines. Merck, with more than 20 years' experience in this space, is collaborating with 50+ vaccine manufacturers — some of which use mRNA for their products — to support their efforts in the development and production of COVID-19 vaccines, treatments and services.

PCR technology is another important component of mRNA manufacturing. According to AmpTec, their differentiated PCR-based technology for mRNA manufacturing has advantages over other manufacturing technologies, including advantages in homogeneity, purity, activity and flexibility; higher quality and improved performance; and flexible capping options to reach specific performance requirements.

"The success of mRNA-based vaccines for COVID-19 lays the path to accelerate the development of these therapeutics for many other diseases," said Stefan Oschmann, Chairman of the Executive Board and CEO of Merck.

AmpTec also has a diagnostics business that focuses on producing customized long RNAs and DNAs for in vitro diagnostics. It will complement Merck's diagnostics business, which specializes in providing critical raw materials, components and services for in vitro diagnostics manufacturers.

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