MilliporeSigma, the U.S. and Canada Life Science business of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, broke ground at its Sheboygan, Wisconsin site, for the company's first lateral flow membrane production facility in the United States.
Lateral flow membranes are a key component in rapid diagnostic test kits for a variety of applications, including Covid-19 testing. The new facility is supported by a $136.7 million contract award from the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), on behalf of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
"Our purpose is to positively impact life and health with science, and today's ground-breaking exemplifies this commitment by adding physical capacity and expanding our regional network to meet the growing needs of our customers and ensure supply chain security," said Matthias Heinzel, Member of the Executive Board of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, and CEO Life Science. "This new, state-of-the-art facility will support the surge in demand experienced by our global in-vitro diagnostic manufacturing customers."
"From COVID-19 rapid testing to cancer therapies, the work MilliporeSigma does helps promote the health and safety of our families and communities while creating good jobs for hardworking Wisconsinites, and I am glad to be celebrating their success today," said Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers. "In addition to creating 60 new jobs in Sheboygan, this new facility will provide a major step forward in expanding domestic diagnostic testing as the company's first lateral flow membrane production facility in the U.S., ensuring our state and country are ready to tackle any public health crisis that comes our way now and into the future."
Once built, the lateral flow membrane facility will be MilliporeSigma's first facility in the United States capable of producing diagnostic-grade membrane. Its location further supports the company's competitive market advantage with improved supply security and reduced lead times for global customers. The lateral flow membrane production line in Sheboygan complements the global capacity network of the Life Science business sector of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, by adding redundant capabilities to its two production lines in Cork, Ireland, thereby mitigating supply chain risks.