MilliporeSigma has opened its new Life Sciences Center in Burlington, MA, a campus designed to function as a regional collaboration hub for the North American life science business of Merck KGaA.

Nearly 1000 employees are based at the 280,000-square-foot campus, which contains a customer collaboration laboratory and training center as well as office space. The building is intended to serve as a global customer destination, housing a customer service and call center as well as a collaboration space designed to replace the flagship M Lab™, which had been based at the company's Billerica, MA, facility, which the Burlington site is designed to replace.

M Lab is being replaced by a new “M Lab™ Collaboration Center,” intended to serve as a site for hands-on training, customer experiments, and application troubleshooting in a non-GMP environment. MilliporeSigma said the new collaboration center will be a shared exploratory environment that will enable company scientists and engineers to work with customers to learn about the latest techniques in biomanufacturing.

And by the end of the year, MilliporeSigma is also set to open the region's first BioReliance® End-to-End Biodevelopment Center, a lab for small-scale drug manufacturers seeking to conduct early-phase clinical trials. The biodevelopment center is designed to support customers with process development or production, as well as with regulatory, quality, and training challenges, the company said.

“Our new Burlington campus is specifically designed to foster a hands-on, collaborative environment where customers and our scientists and engineers come together to solve the toughest problems in life science,” MilliporeSigma CEO Udit Batra, Ph.D., said in a statement.

MilliporeSigma said last year the campus would cost $115 million to build.

The new Burlington campus was designed and constructed to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards intended to minimize energy and water consumption, as well as create an attractive, convenient, and healthy work environment. The campus includes daylight streaming from all angles, high-efficiency LED lighting and water fixtures, and a 182-kW solar photovoltaic system blanketing the roof. Twelve electric vehicle-charging stations, with 24 reserved parking spaces, are available at no cost to employees and visitors.

Batra, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker, and Stefan Oschmann, D.V.M., chairman of the executive board and CEO of Merck KGaA, led dignitaries in marking the formal opening of the campus with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and a daylong scientific symposium focused on biopharma innovation.

The Commonwealth’s government has supported MilliporeSigma’s expansion within Massachusetts through its MassWorks Infrastructure program, in which local municipalities and other eligible public entities can seek public infrastructure funding toward projects that promote economic development and job creation.

MilliporeSigma is leasing the five-story, single-tenant building, which was built by The Gutierrez Company near Route 3 and Route 128. The site includes rights allowing for expansion by an additional 70,000 square feet.

MilliporeSigma is the entity by which Merck KGaA operates its life science business in the U.S. and Canada, following Merck’s acquisitions of Millipore in 2010 and Sigma-Aldrich in 2015.

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