January 11Merck builds portfolio in DNA damage response (DDR)

We enter into a licensing agreement with Vertex Pharmaceuticals for four promising R&D DDR programs. The addition of the DDR port­folio in-licensed from Vertex to our own in-house DDR platform has positioned us as one of the key players in the DDR field.

January 12Big Data partnership with Palantir

We want to use the advanced data analytics capabilities of the U.S. company Palantir to more rapidly develop and deliver medicines and commercialize new products. This could also play a part in the development of entirely new therapeutic options for patients in the future. Initially, we will use Palantir’s technology in cancer treatment and patient services. Later on it can be used in other areas of the company.

March 23FDA grants accelerated approval of Bavencio® in rare and aggressive form of skin cancer

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) grants the first approval of an ­oncology treatment for metastatic Merkel cell carcinoma.

May 9Bavencio® receives accelerated ­approval in the United States for bladder cancer

Less than two months later, the FDA grants the next approval for Bavencio® – for the treatment of patients with advanced or metastatic urothelial cancer.

July 21New Performance Materials application laboratory in Shanghai

We open an applications laboratory in China through which we provide comprehensive, customized services for our quality products. This also effectively allows us to seek and foster creative collaboration with customers for new applications and formulations.

August 3Patent for CRISPR technology

The European Patent Office grants Merck the patent for its CRISPR technology used in a genomic integration method for eukaryotic cells. Merck was awarded similar patents by the Australian, Canadian and Singapore patent offices over the course of 2017.

August 25European Commission gives the green light for Mavenclad®

Mavenclad® (cladribine tablets) is approved for MS patients in the EU, and is the first oral short-course treatment for highly active relapsing multiple sclerosis.

August 31We light up Seoul

At the first Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism, together with our collaboration partners OLEDWorks, OPVIUS and Kolon, we present a new textile façade concept combining OPV (organic photovoltaics) and OLED (organic light-emitting diode) technologies.

September 1Merck divests Biosimilars business

The closing of the Biosimilars sale to Fresenius announced on September 1 is in line with our strategy to focus the Healthcare business sector on the pipeline of innovative medicines in oncology, immuno-­oncology and immunology. Merck receives an upfront payment of € 156 million and is entitled to milestone payments of up to € 500 million, plus royalties on future product sales.

September 5Merck examines strategic options for ­Consumer Health

We are currently preparing strategic options for Consumer Health. These include both a full or partial sale of the business as well as strategic partnerships. We are thus focusing on our innovation-­driven Biopharma pipeline and are initiating the next stage of the successful further ­development of the Consumer Health business.

September 12Debut at the International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt

We exhibit at Europe’s most important motor show with our own stand for the first time. Our presentation centers on high-tech ­materials for lighting, antennas, displays and surfaces.

September 21EU approval of Bavencio® in Merkel cell carcinoma

The European Commission approves our ­oncology medicine Bavencio® in this rare and aggressive form of skin cancer.

October 23New Life Science Center in Burlington, Massachusetts

We open a new Life Science Center in Burlington, north of Boston, to strengthen our presence in this key global science region. The new facility serves as a regional hub for scientific advances and customer collaboration. The Greater Boston area is a hotbed of life science innovation.

November 30Liquid crystal window modules facility in the Netherlands

We open our new production facility for liquid crystal window modules in Veldhoven, a town near Eindhoven. With an investment of around € 15 million, we are continuing to build on our expertise as the market and technology leader in liquid crystals for displays by moving into other applications beyond televisions, laptops, smartphones, and tablet PCs.

350 years of Merck

1668 Friedrich Jacob Merck purchases a pharmacy in Darmstadt.

350 years of Merck

1754 Johann Justus Merck works during his training in Stuttgart with the “Pharmacopoea Wirtenbergica”, the most modern pharmaceutical formulary of its time.

350 years of Merck

1827 Emanuel Merck drives the transformation from a pharmacy craft to a research-based industrial company forward with the presentation of the “Novitäten Cabinet”, the cabinet of novelties.

350 years of Merck

1850 In order to ensure the continued existence of his company, Emanuel Merck establishes the partnership E. Merck together with his sons.

350 years of Merck

1879 Merck develops internationally, establishing business contacts to Asia (1832), North America (1845), South America (1851), Africa (1867), and Australia (1879).

350 years of Merck

1904 The entire factory is moved to its present-day location on Frankfurter Strasse and is expanded.

350 years of Merck

1917 The U.S. subsidiary Merck & Co., Inc., headquartered in New Jersey, USA, is expropriated and is entirely legally and economically independent today. Outside the United States and Canada, the company operates as MSD.

350 years of Merck

1987 Immunology research starts at Merck, with a focus on cancer therapy.

350 years of Merck

1995 Establishment of Merck KGaA. With a volume of DM 2.4 billion, this represents the largest public offering in German history at that time.

350 years of Merck

2007 The acquisition of Serono succeeds, making Merck a leading biotech company.

350 years of Merck

2010 The acquisition of Millipore in the United States creates a leading global partner for the life science industry.

350 years of Merck

2015 With the acquisition of the U.S. company Sigma-Aldrich, Merck further expands its leading position in the life science business. The portfolio now encompasses more than 300,000 products.

350 years of Merck

2018 Merck celebrates its anniversary.