Merck and Sigma-Aldrich: Together to solve the toughest problems in life science

Klaus Reinhard Bischoff merck 4

In late 2015, the life science business of Merck joined forces with Sigma-Aldrich, bringing together two major life science players and completing the largest acquisition in the history of Merck KGaA, a leading science and technology company based in Darmstadt, Germany.

We met with Klaus-Reinhard Bischoff, Head of Global Research & Applied Solutions Commercial Area for the life science business of Merck, to talk about the business and the successful integration of Sigma-Aldrich into the company.


“Customers are at the center of everything we do.”

The life science business of Merck, which operates as MilliporeSigma in the United States and Canada, is a global leader in the $125 billion life science industry. Its purpose is to solve the toughest problems in life science by collaborating with the global scientific community – and thereby help increase access to health care for people around the world.

The combined organization of Merck and Sigma-Aldrich offers a broad portfolio of more than 300,000 products, including highly respected brands such as Sigma-Aldrich, Milli-Q, and Millipore. Its offerings span every step of the biotech/biopharma production chain, creating a complete end-to-end workflow with enhanced customer service, a simplified interface and a leading e-commerce and distribution platform.

Sigma-Aldrich is now joining strong brand like Milipore

The life science business of Merck operates 65 manufacturing sites worldwide and employs more than 19,000 people in 66 countries. More than 5,000 employees work in the European Union, which in 2015 accounted for 36% of global life science sales.

This geographic reach, combined with an innovative portfolio, industry-leading capabilities and a culture that fosters curiosity and collaboration, uniquely positions the business to anticipate and fulfil customer needs.

By focusing on the specific requirements of our three market segments – Research, Process, and Applied – we can best address our customers’ changing needs and help them solve their toughest life science challenges,” says Klaus-Reinhard Bischoff, Head of Global Research & Applied Solutions Commercial Area for the life science business of Merck.

The business works hand in hand with researchers as they make new discoveries, and when those discoveries become reality, fast-tracks new therapeutic interventions to the market.



We’re supporting some of the most exciting and promising work in life science,” says Bischoff. “We provide point-of-use devices and reagents for a wide variety of critical applications, including for instance cellular analysis or environmental analysis. With our comprehensive portfolio we are providing innovative solutions enabling progress in scientific discovery globally – and ultimately contribute to advances in human health”.

He points out that delivering the promise of the Sigma-Aldrich acquisition is a top priority for the life science business, which was Merck’s growth engine in 2015 and continues to achieve strong sales and profitability in 2016. The business reported record sales of €1.4Bn for the first quarter of this year – an 81% increase fueled by the acquisition!

We’re laser-focused on completing the successful integration of our two organizations and maintaining our outstanding performance,” says Bischoff. “Everything we’re doing is aimed at providing top-notch products and services and a harmonized experience for our customers around the world – and solidifying our position as a global life science leader.

Our talk with Klaus-Reinhard Bischoff was really helpful to understand the synergies coming from the acquisition of Sigma-Aldrich. With strong brands like Millipore and Sigma-Aldrich under one roof, Merck is now ready to tackle global challenges in life science and ultimately improve health care worldwide.

Feature Image Credit: Klaus-Reinhard Bischoff (© Merck)



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