Merck KGaA Plans Investment in Africa

Merck KGaA said it plans to considerably expand its presence on the African continent over the next five years in both its pharmaceuticals and life sciences businesses. The company intends to more than double its workforce in Africa and to more than double its sales on the continent by 2020.

The company currently has around 400 employees across 10 African countries and aims to increase this number to around 1,000 by 2020. The largest location of Merck KGaA on the continent is South Africa, from where the company also steers business in South-East Africa including Kenya, Angola, and Mozambique. The company's sales in Africa will climb to around EUR 200 million ($211 million) in 2015 and are expected to reach EUR 500 million ($528 million) by 2020.

Among other things, Merck KGaA plans to start local production of its diabetes treatment Glucophage (metformin) in Algeria by the Algerianpharma company Novapharm, inaugurated an office in Nigeria, and launched the sale of its Muse cell analyzer, which monitors patients' specific T-lymphocyte cell counts, which are standard indicators of when to begin treatment for opportunistic infections, initiate antiretroviral therapy, and monitor the progression of diseases such as HIV. The company has also started an online and mobile platform for diabetes risk assessment, apps for diabetes and fertility patients, and a mobile platform for doctors, all of which were developed in Africa.

Source: Merck KGaA

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