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Scottish plant key to Merck’s blood kit success

Adrian Birkett and Lord Offord at the launch event

Merck’s Livingston facility has benefited from a £2.6 million investment to support the launch of a product used in analysing blood.

Scottish Enterprise provided a research and development grant to underpin the design and development of the diagnostic quality control kit which has received regulatory approval around the world and has helped secure the status of the West Lothian plant.

Full product launch is expected from next month which will also see the creation of 15 jobs.

Site director, Adrian Birkett said; “The investment is a just recognition of the incredible work being done by the team here in Livingston.

“We aim to impact life and health with science by driving scientific breakthroughs and accelerating innovation. Science and technology are advancing at an unprecedented speed, and with that are the needs and expectations of our customers worldwide.

“Project funding through the award of a grant from Scottish Enterprise was crucial in securing the project in Scotland and has allowed the permanent recruitment of R&D, engineering, project management and validation jobs at the site.”

As part of the project, the company has installed a warehousing facility, manufacturing cleanrooms and quality control laboratories.

Scotland Office minister Lord Offord of Garvel, who attended the launch, said: “The work Merck does in the life sciences sector here in Livingston is ground-breaking and underlines Scotland’s place on the global stage as a centre of excellence for research and innovation.

“It’s great to see new leaps forward being made here for the benefit of people all over Scotland and the UK.”

Scottish Enterprise team leader, Andrew Henderson added; “Encouraging and supporting companies such as Merck to innovate and expand is a priority for Scottish Enterprise.

“Our R&D support not only recognises this project’s importance to Merck but also to the Scottish economy and Scotland’s growing global reputation for life sciences excellence.

Merck’s Livingston facility is the world’s largest manufacturer of monoclonal antibodies for blood tyyping diagnosis, with over 60% of the world market.

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