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At the Heart of Innovation for Rare Disease Patients Worldwide

Marburg, Germany’s vibrant R&D ecosystem creates hope for patients and CSL Behring’s future.

Marburg Castle lit up in the colors of Rare Disease Day.
Marburg, Germany’s Landgrafen Palace Lit to Commemorate Rare Disease Day 2021. Photo credit Marius Krutschke

Mention the name Behring in Marburg, Germany, and you will be sure to hear stories about Emil von Behring, the winner of the first Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, and his impact on the global healthcare industry and local community. The medieval town, a quick drive from Frankfurt, has long enjoyed a reputation for producing medicines that help save lives around the world. First as von Behring’s home base and today as home to one of global biotechnology leader CSL Behring’s research and manufacturing sites for medicines for rare disease patients.

In fact, the company that shares his name has a strong scientific presence in this university town – and that R&D presence is growing, significantly.  

A towering, leading-edge R&D-focused facility is quickly taking shape near CSL Behring’s well-established Marburg manufacturing site. Once complete in mid-2022, the research site will boast seven floors and almost 131,000 square feet (40,000 square meters) of space and be home to about 500 CSL Behring researchers – all working in state-of-the-art laboratories amongst potential sources for external collaboration and innovation.

“Marburg has a strong history of innovation and a vibrant life sciences ecosystem,” said Vicky Pirzas, Vice President, Recombinant Product Development and designated General Manager. “With proximity to world-class universities and leading biotechnology companies our strategic presence here will enable us to seek out new ways to collaborate and partner with other organizations and academic institutions across Germany and Europe.”

To help prepare for the company’s R&D growth, the CSL Group has once again demonstrated its commitment to the Marburg site by establishing an independent business unit for research and development in Marburg – creating a business entity separate from the manufacturing facility located there. This will enable the R&D team to be more agile in entrepreneurial decision making and collaboration with the external research community - all important factors in the fast-paced world of biotechnology. 

“The newly created R&D entity will help us to achieve our vision to become a world-class and welcoming research community at the heart of CSL Behring,” said Lars Groenke, M.D., Vice President, R&D Respiratory and designated General Manager. “It will also allow us to secure growth and future representation at the site as our R&D presence in Marburg will be able to align with larger, strategic R&D goals.”

In fact, CSL Behring is bringing exciting research programs, from other areas of the world, to Marburg to help promising assets continue their journey to patients.

“Moving some of our research successes to Marburg for further development demonstrates the importance of this R&D site as a critical part of a global R&D investment strategy,” said Bill Mezzanotte, M.D., MPH, Executive Vice President, Head of R&D and Chief Medical Officer. “Marburg, along with our R&D locations in Bern, Switzerland, Melbourne, Australia, Pasadena, California, Philadelphia and elsewhere around the world – ensures we continually deliver on CSL Behring’s promise to discover, develop and deliver meaningful innovations for the next century of patients – just like Emil von Behring.”

Several red construction cranes at work on upper floors of a new research building in Marburg, Germany