13th May 2021  Product update: rapidvirology staff writer

Centre of Excellence Expands to Double its Lateral-flow Membrane Output for Rapid Tests


Merck’s Carrigtwohill facility is in the final stages of a €36 million expansion in Cork, Ireland, which will allow it to double its output of lateral flow membrane annually.

The expansion of its manufacturing capacity is in response to global customer demand for Merck’s lateral flow membrane, which has significantly increased since the COVID-19 pandemic.

The company also has plans for further expansion in the future and the additional investments will result in approximately 50 new jobs being created over the coming years.

Martin McAuliffe, Managing Director and Head of Cork Operations at Merck in Carrigtwohill said, “The new K2 expansion will enable our Cork site, which is the Merck global Membrane Centre of Excellence, to more than double the capacity of our lateral flow membrane, which is a key component in COVID-19 rapid diagnostic kits.  

“Furthermore, there will be an additional multi-million euro investment in our Biotools department over the next five years.  The Biotools department makes filtration and medical devices for the pharma industry, some of which are used in vaccine production.  

“Merck is proud to play a leading role in the global fight against COVID-19.  We are involved in over 50 vaccine candidates, more than 35 diagnostic solutions, and over 20 therapeutic solutions which use the latest in cutting edge technology.”

The site in Carrigtwohill is the global ‘Membrane Centre of Excellence’ for Merck and produces millions of feet of all types of membrane on an annual basis.  The lateral flow membrane is the key component in rapid diagnostic antigen tests, typically used in pregnancy tests and tests for infectious diseases like dengue fever, ebola and malaria.  The membrane is also a key component in the rapid antigen tests for COVID-19.  The customer demand for this type of membrane has significantly increased since the onset of COVID-19.


    

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Date Published: 13th May 2021

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Note: This content has been edited by a rapidvirology.com staff writer for style and content.


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