Merck Acquires AmpTec to Expand mRNA Capabilities for Vaccines, Treatments and Diagnostics

Merck today announced the acquisition of AmpTec a leading Hamburg, Germany-based, mRNA contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO).

• Adds to Merck’s lipid manufacturing expertise, providing an integrated offering across mRNA value chain

• AmpTec’s differentiated polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based technology has shown to have advantages over other technologies for mRNA manufacturing

• Diagnostics business focused on producing customized long RNAs and DNAs for in vitro diagnostics, complements existing Merck portfolio

Merck, a leading science and technology company, today announced the acquisition of AmpTec, a leading Hamburg, Germany-based, mRNA contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO). The deal 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 diseases. Financial terms were not disclosed.

“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.

“By combining AmpTec’s PCR-based mRNA technology with Merck’s extensive expertise in lipids manufacturing, we are able to provide a truly differentiated and integrated offering across the mRNA value chain, which will significantly decrease supply chain complexity and enhance speed-to-market. This transaction is another important step to support the constant growth of our Life Science business through tailored, small-scale acquisitions with high impact.”

“Last year, AmpTec celebrated its fifteenth anniversary, and this acquisition marks an exciting new chapter for our company,” said Guido Krupp and Peter Scheinert, managing directors and founders of AmpTec. “AmpTec’s more than 40 employees are thrilled to join Merck and are confident that our PCR-based technology and combined expertise will allow us to offer customers innovative technologies, products and services to help advance life-enhancing therapeutics.”

Lipids, which are part of the SAFC® portfolio in Merck’s Life Science business sector, 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 more than 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. AmpTec uses a differentiated PCR-based technology for mRNA manufacturing, which has shown to have advantages over other manufacturing technologies, including:

• Advantages in homogeneity, purity, activity and flexibility.

• Higher quality and improved performance.

• Flexible capping options to reach specific performance requirements.

In addition to specializing in mRNA technology, AmpTec 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.

Merck’s molecular materials portfolio includes custom and predesigned DNA oligos and probes for a variety of applications such as PCR, next generation sequencing and microarray production.

Merck is continuing to invest in mRNA as a modality and will scale up this technology both at AmpTec’s existing site in Hamburg and at Merck’s global headquarters in Darmstadt, Germany.

Andreas Cezanne photo Merck KGaA