Germany's Merck in fresh investment to make bioreactor gear in France

FRANKFURT, March 17 (Reuters) - Germany’s Merck KGaA said it would invest 25 million euros ($29.9 million) in Molsheim, France, to make disposable plastic materials for bioreactors, an essential input for COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing.

The new site, which will see the creation 350 jobs, will be Merck’s first such facility in Europe and will likely come on stream at the end of this year, the diversified group said in a statement on Wednesday.

Merck’s Life Science unit, which supplies gear and chemicals for biotech labs, in December announced a combined $47 million investment at production facilities in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, also to produce supplies for makers of COVID-19 vaccines and biotech therapies.

It also has a site for single-use plastic bags for bioreactors in Wuxi, China. ($1 = 0.8399 euros) (Reporting by Ludwig Burger Editing by Caroline Copley)