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Merck Unveils First Digital Hub in Singapore

Written by : Nikita Saha

January 30, 2024

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The Merck Digital Hub in Singapore aims to drive innovation and research in healthcare and semiconductor industries with Syntropy and Athinia platforms.

Merck, a leading science and technology company, has launched the Merck Digital Hub in Singapore, marking its first digital hub outside the US and Europe.

Backed by the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB), the Digital Hub seeks to propel advancements within the healthcare and semiconductor industries.

Sharing thoughts, Wan Yee Goh, senior VP & head, healthcare, Singapore EDB, said, "Merck Digital Hub will enrich our local ecosystem and help advance digital innovation and talent across healthcare, semiconductor, and AI. We look forward to strengthening our partnership with Merck, spearheading more impactful collaborations that can drive the development of new solutions from Singapore, and the creation of good job opportunities for Singaporeans."

She further emphasised Merck's engagement in growing the digital presence in Singapore, which according to her, underscores the pivotal role of data and AI as cornerstones of the future economy.

What the Digital Hub Features

The newly launched Digital Hub in Singapore is expected to benefit the healthcare industry in several ways-

1. Innovation and Research: The Digital Hub will drive innovation and research in the healthcare industry by leveraging Syntropy and Athinia platforms, which enable data security collaboration among participants in the healthcare industry.

2. Data Integration: Syntrophy and Athinia platforms will further help data owners integrate and curate their data across their organisations, maintaining the high-quality standards required by the healthcare sector.

3. Efficiency: The secure AI-enabled data flow can help unlock efficiencies while ensuring stakeholders maintain control of their intellectual property.

4. Global Collaboration: The Digital Hub will form a global digital hub enhancing data platforms for customers in the US, Europe, and Asia Pacific.

5. Talent Development: The Hub will also assist in advancing digital innovation and talent across healthcare and AI. It aims to enrich the local ecosystem and help advance digital innovation and talent across healthcare and AI.

Laura Matz, chief science & technology officer, Merck, said, "Singapore's strong commitment to digital innovation and adoption has provided a substantial advantage to various sectors, including health tech and semiconductors."

The Merck Digital Hub adds to Merck's existing Singapore footprint with around 500 employees in its three business sectors including life science, healthcare, and electronics.

This strategic initiative is set to spearhead innovation and foster collaborative technology integration, not only in Singapore but also on a global scale.

Founded in 1668, Merck also known as Merck KGaA is one of the oldest pharmaceutical companies in the world. Today, the company is rapidly advancing in research and development to deliver advanced health solutions across the world.

The Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB), on the other hand, is a government agency under the Ministry of Trade and Industry, which is responsible for strategies that enhance Singapore's position as a global centre for business, innovation, and talent.

Merck’s Latest Healthcare Advancements

In November, Merck launched ChemisTwin, the first digital reference materials platform. It is designed to automatically analyse the purity, identification, and degradation of compounds in samples using calibrated algorithms and digital references.

Further, the platform helps scientists ensure the quality and safety of medicines from the earliest stages of R&D through quality control and quality assurance testing with digital signatures for more than 1,500 reference materials.

Previously, Merck entered into two strategic drug discovery collaborations with BenevolentAI, London, UK, and Exscientia, Oxford, UK to strengthen AI-driven drug discovery. It is expected to generate multiple novel clinical development drug candidates with first-in-class potential, particularly in critical therapeutic areas of oncology, neurology and immunology.

Days back, Merck acquired cancer drugmaker Harpoon Therapeutics for $680 million. This acquisition, aimed at diversifying Merck's sources of growth, underscores the company's commitment to maintaining leadership in the oncology space.

The move is pivotal for Merck as it seeks alternative revenue streams, considering potential pricing pressure on its top-selling medicine, the cancer immunotherapy Keytruda, towards the end of this decade.


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