Merck KGaA opens Shanghai Innovation Center and invests $ 14 million in the China Seed Fund – asume tech


One of the largest German pharmaceutical companies sets up a seed capital fund to promote start-ups in China.

Darmstadt-based Merck KGaA announced on Friday that it had a seed capital fund worth 100 million Chinese yuan, or 14.1 million dollars, under the umbrella of its $ 334.2 million venture capital arm M Ventures has set up. Merck KGaA operates in the United States under the name of EMD Serono to avoid confusion with New Jersey-based Whitehouse Station Merck & Co., which trades outside of North America under the name of MSD.

In addition to founding the Seed Fund, Merck KGaA has opened an Innovation Center in Shanghai and is planning another one in the southern metropolis of Guangzhou, which will open next month.

"Our 100 million RMB China Seed Fund underlines our commitment to invest in the Chinese market," said CEO Stefan Oschmann at the opening of the Shanghai Center, citing the abbreviation for Renminbi, the official name of the Chinese currency. "Our innovation centers in China will accelerate our innovation development across the country."

Biotechnology and pharmaceuticals are top priorities in the Chinese government's industrial development strategy. Numerous drug manufacturers operate in the country and are expanding abroad to Western countries.

In January, Beijing-based BeiGene of the Food and Drug Administration received groundbreaking approval for the treatment of zanubrutinib, a Bruton tyrosine kinase inhibitor, which is being developed for the treatment of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and chronic lymphocytic leukemia. ibrutinib) and AstraZeneca's Calquence (acalabrutinib). The company partnered with Summit, Celgene, New Jersey, to develop its PD-1 inhibitor tislelizumab, although the company regained rights to the drug in June, as Celgene acquired the company from Bristol-Myers Squibb, that has its own PD-1 inhibitor, opdivo (nivolumab).

Merck KGaA announced that its Shanghai hub, which was founded last year, will occupy a place in the city's New Bund World Trade Center. Partnerships have already been established, not only in the areas the company specializes in, but also in the areas of artificial intelligence for health solutions. To date, six startups from China and other Asian countries have participated in its Accelerator program.

Photo: VCG, Getty Images

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Merck KGaA opens Shanghai Innovation Center and invests $ 14 million in the China Seed Fund - asume tech

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