For three years, anticipation has been building for the completion of CSL’s new R&D site in Marburg, Germany. On Tuesday, the doors opened for a launch event that showcased the state-of-the-art space, which will be powered by 500 R&D employees.
"The science and innovation taking place in Marburg and across the region will help us to shape CSL's future in a sustainable way, and we hope that it will drive further development of the region into a globally recognized innovation center,” said Dr. Bill Mezzanotte, Head of R&D and Chief Medical Officer for CSL. “The new R&D hub will continue to play a critical role in the global R&D investment strategy for CSL.”
Key stakeholders, including members of CSL’s global leadership team, and officials from the Hesse region were on hand to mark the occasion. The region around Marburg, a university town, is already a hub for biotech and aims to keep growing in that direction. CSL, a leading biotech, includes multiple business units, including CSL Behring, which develops and manufactures medicines for people who have rare and serious diseases.
Architects designed the 150-million-euro building for collaboration among CSL researchers, with plenty of room for external partners and strategically located near universities, institutes and biomedical centers. The facility covers 40,000 square meters and is expected to open later this calendar year.
The construction followed strict sustainability criteria and makes an investment in CSL’s new sustainability strategy. To support its energy needs, the facility features one of the largest ice storage energy management systems in Europe – large enough to hold as much water as a 50-meter swimming pool. The goal is a CO2-neutral energy supply at the site.
"We have succeeded in constructing a building that meets the highest German energy standards," said Dr. Lars Grönke, who together with Vicky Pirzas is managing director of CSL's R&D department in Marburg.
CSL CEO and Managing Director Paul Perreault joined in Tuesday’s celebrations. He pointed to the region’s rich history in support of scientific innovation, starting with Marburg’s Emil von Behring, who won the first Nobel Prize in Medicine. Behring won the prize for his pioneering work in serum technology to develop a treatment for the deadly childhood disease diphtheria.
CSL has evolved over more than 100 years to innovate in plasma science and add new platforms, including recombinant technology, cell and gene therapies, egg-based, cell-based, adjuvanted and sa-mRNA vaccines, Perreault said.
“Investing in Marburg makes sense for us as this region helped shape CSL today,” Perreault said.
Visitors at today’s opening event were also treated to tours of the building, with its soaring atrium, collaboration spaces and gleaming laboratories awash in natural light. It’s a future-focused design to support new ways of working, Pirzas said.
"Coworking spaces combine collaborative and individual work stations through an open space design," she said. "This is designed to bring people closer together and foster creativity."
Overall, CSL’s global Research and Development organization is growing, with more than 2,000 R&D employees in nine countries around the world. In addition to Marburg, the company has an R&D presence in Melbourne, Australia; Bern, Switzerland; Amsterdam, Netherlands, King of Prussia, Pennsylvania; Pasadena, California, and Waltham, Massachusetts.