Merck Canada confirms its Pointe Claire facility as a Centre of Excellence for manufacturing liquids, ointments and creams

$33.2-million modernization now complete

MONTREAL, Oct. 25, 2011 /CNW Telbec/ - Merck Canada has announced the completion of a $33.2-million modernization of its Pointe Claire manufacturing facility that establishes it as a Centre of Excellence for manufacturing liquids, ointments and creams.

The investment has resulted in the expansion of the plant and installation of state-of-the-art production equipment, as well as the refit of production and storage areas, increasing the facility's competitiveness internationally while preserving local jobs.

"Merck's decision to invest $33.2 million is a testimony to its employees as well as an acknowledgement of the quality of the workforce at the Pointe Claire plant," said Merck Canada President and Managing Director Cyril Schiever. "The investment has allowed us to install cutting-edge technology and improve the facility's efficiency."

"Quebec has targeted the biopharmaceutical industry as a prime economic lever and is working to stimulate investment in this sector," said Sam Hamad, the Minister for Economic Development, Innovation and Export Trade as well as the minister responsible for the Quebec City region. "Today's announcement shows that we have the economic and strategic assets to ensure growth in this industry. Quebec will continue to be an investment-friendly jurisdiction for all biopharmaceutical companies."

The modernization project began with the construction of a new 56,500-square-foot modern warehouse, which then allowed the former warehouse to be refitted, and extra manufacturing and packaging lines to be installed.

Seven liquid, ointment and cream filling lines, along with new equipment, were subsequently installed. These facilities will enable the production of 14 new products totalling eight million units per year.

The Pointe Claire plant is one of the facilities in Merck's global network outside of the United States to have received QSP-2 certification from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which permits Canadian products to be exported to the U.S.

In total, $20 million of the overall investment went toward the purchase of goods and services from Quebec suppliers. The Pointe Claire plant employs 264 people.

About Merck
Today's Merck is working to help the world be well. Merck is a global health care leader with a diversified portfolio of prescription medicines, vaccines, consumer and animal health products. In Canada, Merck markets over 530 pharmaceutical, consumer and animal health products and is a leader in a broad range of areas such as cardiology, immunology, infectious diseases, respiratory, vaccines, women's health and sun care. It is also focused on expanding offerings in other areas, including virology, oncology and diabetes.

Merck is one of the top R&D investors in Canada, with an investment of $78.6 million in 2010. Merck also has a large manufacturing facility in Québec dedicated to the annual production of some 35 million units including the Claritin® and Aerius® brands. Based in Montreal, Quebec, Merck employs over 1,400 people across Canada. For more information about our operations in Canada, visit www.merck.ca.

For further information:
Marc Osborne
Merck Canada
(514) 428-3275
  Emmanuelle Vatel
HKDP 
(514) 395 0375 x234