A new cancer drug for the American market is manufactured in a small village called Schachen in Canton Lucerne. Since September 2014, the Keytruda preparation has been approved in the USA for the treatment of skin cancer (melanoma). The active substance is produced on a biotechnological basis. The Werthenstein BioPharma GmbH biotechnology factory in Schachen is a subsidiary of MSD. It has about 20 years’ experience in manufacturing biotech products. This was one of the reasons for the selection of the production site.
Within a short space of time, the plant had to be completely rebuilt and the staff increased. The Lucerne authorities energetically supported the expansion by awarding the authorisations for highly qualified foreign staff.
MSD is a leading global healthcare company headquartered in the USA (Merck & Co., Inc.). In Switzerland, MSD is one of the leading research-oriented pharmaceutical companies. From Lucerne, MSD serves the Swiss healthcare market and supports over 70 subsidiaries in Europe, Canada, the Middle East, Africa, Brazil, India and China. The company employs about 600 staff on the Lucerne site.