Our purpose is to solve the toughest challenges in the life science industry in collaboration with the global scientific community. With our Research Solutions, Process Solutions, and Applied Solutions business units, we are a leading worldwide supplier of tools, high-grade chemicals, and equipment for academic labs, biotech, and biopharmaceutical manufacturers, as well as the industrial sector. Research Solutions provides our academic customers with the chemicals and biological tools needed to make scientific discovery easier and faster. Process Solutions provides drug manufacturers with process development expertise and technologies, such as continuous bioprocessing. Applied Solutions offers analytical workflows and both lab connectivity and digitization solutions to empower the labs of the future.
Our strategy includes strengthening our core business by expanding our leading positions and capabilities as well as establishing new pillars of growth in scientific areas including gene editing, cell and gene therapies, contract development and manufacturing services, and digitization. The Life Science business sector is a top-three player by revenue in the global life science market, with leading positions across many of our portfolios. Our complete portfolio comprises more than 300,000 products, ranging from lab water systems to genome-editing tools, antibodies, and cell lines, as well as end-to-end bioprocessing systems to support the manu-facturing needs of both emerging biotech and large pharma companies. We have and will continue to play a critical role in aiding the ongoing response to the Covid-19 pandemic, supporting our customers working on combatting the novel virus through our products, services, and expertise.
In 2020, the Life Science business sector generated 43% of Group sales as well as 42% of EBITDA pre (excluding Corporate and Other).
Our Response to Covid-19*
The Life Science business sector is responding to the Covid-19 pandemic with products and solutions that empower scientists to detect and characterize viruses and to develop vaccines and therapies. We support more than 35 testing solutions, 50 vaccines, and 20 therapeutic Covid-19 programs for our customers across the globe. Our e-commerce platform, www.sigmaaldrich.com, continues to grow and connect customers globally with the products needed to advance their research, development, and production efforts, and our newly consolidated offering of relevant Covid-19 products, services, and necessary raw materials allows scientists and researchers to detect and characterize viruses and to develop vaccines and therapies.
In addition, we are tapping into our existing collaborations to support projects that target Covid-19 vaccine and therapy development. As part of our collaborations with Oxford University in the United Kingdom and Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, USA, we supported the process development, manufacturing, and scale up of their respective Covid-19 vaccines candidates. In May, we began a new collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) Center for Collective Intelligence and Community Biotechnology Initiative focused on driving innovative pandemic response efforts, which included the release of a new report detailing potential paths to solutions to combat Covid-19 and future pandemics. Additionally, in October, we announced our collaboration with Mammoth Biosciences Inc., of South San Francisco, California, USA, for the development, scale-up, and commercial production of their CRISPR-based SARS-CoV-2 diagnostic test.
Promoting scientific engagement and STEM disciplines remains a passion of our business sector. In the spirit of continuing to ignite youth interest in science and offering inspiring, engaging learning opportunities during challenging times, we launched Curiosity Labs™ at Home, a virtual video series of scientific experiments that can be conducted with materials typically found around the house. In 2020, the program generated more than 2.7 million video views, reaching users in 132 countries.
In the pursuit of solving the toughest challenges in life science, we seek opportunities to support our global customers and collaborators with the skills and equipment they need to make critical advancements for the industry. Aligning with this goal, in January, we announced the opening of a non-profit, high-tech skill development center in collaboration with the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research’s Institute of Microbial Technology (CSIR-IMTECH), an organization under the government of India’s Ministry of Science and Technology. Located in Chandigarh, India, the center is equipped with genome-editing, single-molecule biomarker detection, and other technologies to help local students build life science skills.
To further the drug discovery process, in September, we launched the MILLIPLEX® SARS-CoV-2 antigen panels for IgG, IgA, and IgM, which utilize multiplexing technology. The panels are invaluable research tools for Covid-19 serologicals, epidemiological studies, and vaccine development.
A key goal for our Life Science business sector is to support our customers that manufacture drugs, from small to large innovator companies, bring life-enhancing medicines and therapies to market – and to patients – faster. To facilitate reaching this target, we continue to add building blocks to our BioContinuum™ Platform to address intensified bioprocessing and continuous manufacturing. In July, we acquired Resolution Spectra Systems, a Meylan, France-based leader in bioprocess analytical monitoring, whose Raman technology bioprocess monitoring sensors complement our newly launched Bio4C™ Software Suite. This acquisition further enhances our advanced bioprocess portfolio with Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP)-ready instrumentation and software to analyze and manage generated data.
In November, we announced our agreement with Donghao Lansheng (Group) Co., Ltd. to pilot a new customs clearance process in China. The new import policy means we will be able to process shipments with fewer application and technical dossier requirements. The agreement made us the first and only company to be accepted by the Shanghai government to pilot this new process, representing an important milestone in improving the availability of global research materials and ensuring more efficient flow of supplies critical to the development of life-saving therapies in China.
Our portfolio now includes 28 patents for CRISPR technology granted worldwide, including six patents granted in 2020. In April, we were awarded our second U.S. patent for CRISPR-chrom technology, making us the only provider with a patent covering the fusion of chromatin modulating peptides to CRISPR proteins. We were awarded two additional U.S. patents for foundational CRISPR-Cas9 technology in May, which both support scientists and researchers in their work to advance gene therapy development programs.
A strategic fit with our goal of advancing cell-based therapies to patients, our numerous investments in viral and gene therapy manufacturing will allow further advancement toward potentially life-saving treatments. In April, we announced an expansion to this offering with plans for a second facility at our site in Carlsbad, California, USA. This € 100 million, 140,000-square-foot manufacturing facility will support viral and gene therapy production at the 1,000-liter scale using Mobius® single-use equipment and is expected to open next year. In September, we announced the expansion of our biosafety testing laboratory services, including our BioReliance® viral clearance offering, in Singapore. This increased viral capacity at our Singapore lab by 50% to meet demand from biopharmaceutical and cell and gene therapy developers and manufacturers in Asia-Pacific, allowing customers to continue developing life-saving medicines amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
We took many steps forward with our Life Science expansion plans throughout 2020. A key growth pillar for the Life Science business sector, our BioReliance® End-to-End Solutions are service offerings for process development and manufacturing for emerging biotech companies. In July, we opened our M Lab™ Collaboration Center in Shanghai, which will host a new BioReliance® End-to-End Solutions GMP manufacturing facility offering contract development manufacturing organization services to customers in China and Asia-Pacific. The new M Lab™ Collaboration Center, which is the largest of our nine centers worldwide and located in a hub for biomedical sciences and the research community in China, also offers customizable solutions to help advance drug development.
We announced continued expansion in September with a € 59 million addition to our facility near Madison, Wisconsin, USA, that supports high-potent active pharmaceutical ingredient (HPAPI) and antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) manufacturing. With more than 35 years of experience in the development and manufacturing of small molecules, biologics, and ADC technologies, we offer extensive experience in both clinical and commercial manufacturing. This investment allows large-scale manufacturing of increasingly potent compounds for therapies with the potential to treat cancer. The project is an addition to our campus in St. Louis, Missouri, USA, which was the first commercial ADC facility in North America, and which specializes in ADC bio-conjugation, active pharmaceutical ingredients, excipient and adjuvants manufacturing. Expected to be completed by mid-2022, it also creates one of the largest dedicated HPAPI manufacturing facilities specially designed to handle single-digit nanogram containment.
In October, we celebrated another expansion with the topping-out ceremony for our new € 140 million membrane production plant in Darmstadt, Germany. The project is part of our plan to invest € 1 billion in global headquarters by 2025, as announced in 2019. The new membrane manufacturing facility for aseptic filters will help meet customer demand in the growing biopharmaceutical market, expanding manufacturing of Millipore Express® membranes, which are critical components in Millipore Express® filters and help ensure the sterility of biological drug products. Broadening our global manufacturing footprint, we invested a combined € 40 million in our facilities in Jaffrey, New Hampshire, USA, and Danvers, Massachusetts, USA, which supply critical products to customers developing life-saving therapies, including Covid-19 vaccines. The expansion of our facility in Jaffrey will add 275 jobs to the filtration plant and a new, state-of-the-art water system that treats and reduces concentration of organic solvents. The expansion will allow the site to operate on a 24-hour cycle by the end of the year, delivering on increased demand for the manufacturing of filtration devices and membrane products, specifically Durapore® filters, Express® filters and the Viresolve® product lines, which are used to ensure the sterility of many life-saving therapies and to remove viral contamination for a variety of therapies. The expansion to our site in Danvers will add capacity for the manufacturing of Mobius® single-use consumables and virus filtration technologies, which have seen significantly increased demand. These expansions, significantly increasing our capacity at both sites, will help meet unprecedented demand of key life-saving products and demonstrate our commitment to growing our global presence while providing employment opportunities.
An additional expansion to our site in Buchs, Switzerland, will support our offering of testing kits and services that ensure our food is safe to eat and our water is safe to drink. In July, we announced an investment of € 18 million to build a new laboratory facility that will support our reference materials business and allow increased support of researchers and testing labs in pharmaceutical, environmental, and food and beverage analysis. Completion of the expansion is scheduled for December 2021, adding modern, flexible space to one of our most important research and development centers.
To ensure safe laboratory work and analysis, our leading lab water offerings provide reliable, consistent sources of high-quality pure water. To further support our customers in this space, in May, we launched the Milli-Q® IX 7003/7005/7010/7015 Type 2 water purification system, a redesigned version of our benchtop pure water system.
We aim to optimize digitization across Life Science to increase lab productivity, efficiency, and safety. In February, we introduced the BrightLab™ platform, our cloud-based software solution bringing inventory management and instrument connectivity functionalities to research scientists. In March, we launched the LANEXO™ system for lab inventory, safety, and compliance management. Together, these two components of our laboratory informatics offering will boost our digital lab productivity business and commercial growth for Life Science.
* The contents of this chapter or section are voluntary and therefore not audited. However, our auditor has read the text critically.