Merck Millipore

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Merck KGaA, Darmstadt Germany
Subsidiary of Merck KGaA
Industry Life Sciences / Biotech
Founded 1954, Merck Founded 1668
Headquarters Billerica, Massachusetts, United States
Key people
Udit Batra, President and CEO
Products Filtration
Pharmaceutical Equipment and Consumables
Revenue Increase$991 million USD
Number of employees

Merck Millipore (known as EMD Millipore in the United States and Canada) is the life sciences subsidiary of Merck. It was formed when Merck acquired the Millipore Corporation in 2010.

Merck Millipore is active in Europe, Asia, the Americas and Africa. Divided into three business units – Bioscience, Lab Solutions, and Process Solutions – Merck Millipore is a supplier to the life science industry.

The Millipore Corporation was founded in 1954, and listed among the S&P 500 since the early 1990s, was an international biosciences company, known widely for its micrometer pore-size filters and tests.

In 2015 Merck finalized its acquisition of Sigma-Aldrich, and merged Sigma-Aldrich with Merck Millipore. The combined business of Merck Millipore and Sigma-Aldrich will be known as "Merck KGaA, Darmstadt Germany".[1]



In 1954 Jack Bush started a filtration company that would grow from a handful of employees to a multinational Life Science corporation with 6,000 employees and annual sales of $1.53 billion by 2007. This new company pioneered the use of membrane technology in hundreds of applications. Through strategic acquisitions, substantial R&D investments, and international expansion, Millipore broadened its technology and market base to become a leader in the Life Science industry. In the early 1950s Lovell Corporation won a contract from the U.S. Army Chemical Engineers to develop and manufacture membrane filtering devices and systems used to separate the molecular components of fluid samples. When the membranes were declassified in 1953 and offered for commercial use, Jack Bush, a Lovell employee, bought the company’s right to the technology for $200,000 and established the Millipore Filter Company which later changed its name to Millipore Corporation to reflect its growing range of products.

In 2010, Merck KGaA the world's oldest chemical and pharmaceutical company- acquired Millipore Corporation to form EMD Millipore.


By 1959, Millipore made porous membrane filters of cellulose esters or other materials which resembled paper in sheet form, and were brittle when dry but friable when wet.[2]

Millipore's cellulose ester filters were used widely in early experiments to regenerate transected nerves in the peripheral nervous system, especially in experiments of sciatic nerve transection in rodents.[2] Today, the Millipore filters consist of nitrocellulose or polycarbonate membrane nucleopore filters ranging from pore size of 0.2 μm (micrometer) up to 20 µm. The smallest of these are sometimes also measured in pore width of 200 nm (nanometer). Some specialty applications are even measured in the picometer range (pm) of pore-size.


By 1970, Millipore had established subsidiaries in seven countries. The company opened manufacturing plants in Jaffrey, New Hampshire; Molsheim, France; Cork, Ireland; and several other locations. Millipore’s 2006 acquisition of Serologicals Corporation improved the company's position in high-growth markets such as drug discovery products and services, antibodies, cell biology reagents, and stem cell research. As of the late 2000s, Millipore was the only company providing both upstream cell culture and downstream separations offerings for biopharmaceutical production[citation needed].

In 2012, EMD Millipore had revenues of €2.6 billion and 10,000 employees in 68 countries worldwide.


Here are some of the key milestones representative of Millipore’s changes and growth over the past five decades.


  • 1954: Jack Bush purchases the rights to a new membrane-production process developed by Lovell Chemical Company.
  • 1954: Millipore Filter Corporation is officially incorporated.
  • 1954: Jack Bush becomes president (and later chairman) of Millipore. Jack is the son of Vannevar Bush, science advisor to President Roosevelt in World War II.
  • 1955: Millipore receives its first patent—for microporous nylon film invented by Stanley Lovell and Jack Bush.


  • 1964: Millipore establishes its first subsidiary, in France.
  • 1967: Millipore introduces the Super-Q water purification system.
  • 1967: Millipore establishes a subsidiary in Germany.
  • 1968: Millipore establishes a subsidiary in Japan.
  • 1968: Millipore introduces its Pellicon cassette product, for purifying biotherapeutics.


  • 1971: Millipore introduces the original Millex syringe filter—the first disposable syringe filter.
  • 1972: Millipore establishes a subsidiary in Spain.
  • 1972: Millipore opens a manufacturing plant in Jaffrey, New Hampshire.
  • 1973: Millipore starts manufacturing in Molsheim, France.
  • 1973: Millipore introduces the Milli-Q water purification system, the world’s first lab-scale ultra pure water system.
  • 1978: Millipore reaches the $100 million revenue milestone.
  • 1978: Millipore opens a manufacturing plant in Danvers, Massachusetts.
  • 1979: Millipore acquires Waters Associates Inc., a producer of chromatographic media and HPLC instrumentation.


  • 1980: Millipore introduces its low-protein binding Durapore membrane.
  • 1987: Millipore is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
  • 1987: Millipore reaches the $500 million revenue milestone.
  • 1988: Millipore opens a manufacturing plant in Cork, Ireland.


  • 1994: Millipore divests its Waters Chromatography Division and focuses on its membrane business.
  • 1996: Millipore acquires the Amicon separation sciences business from W.R. Grace and Co.
  • 1997: Millipore acquires Tylan General, expanding its gas purification offerings for the microelectronics industry.
  • 1999: Millipore acquires Bioprocessing Limited, a developer and manufacturer of chromatography.


  • 2001: Millipore spins off its Microelectronics Division (30% of its top line), that becomes Mykrolis. It will merge with Entegris in 2005.
  • 2002: Millipore opens its Biopharmaceutical Technology Center in Billerica, Massachusetts – an innovative, customer-focused facility.
  • 2005: Millipore acquires MicroSafe, a European contract testing laboratory.
  • 2005: Millipore acquires NovAseptic, a worldwide supplier of aseptically designed components for biotech and pharmaceutical production.
  • 2005: Millipore forms an alliance with Gen-Probe to develop, manufacture and commercialize products for rapid microbiological and virus monitoring.
  • 2006: Millipore acquires Newport Bio Systems, a maker of process containers and systems used in biopharmaceutical production.
  • 2006: Millipore acquires Serologicals Corporation (which includes the companies Chemicon, Upstate, Linco, and Celliance), expanding its drug discovery and development footprint.
  • 2006: Millipore opens a new Research and Development Center in Bedford, Massachusetts.
  • 2007: Millipore launches its new brand, signifying the company’s transformation as a Life Science leader.
  • 2008: Millipore unveils a major expansion of its Drug Discovery and Development facility in St. Charles, Missouri.
  • 2008: Millipore opens a new membrane casting manufacturing facility in Carrigtwohill, County Cork, Ireland.
  • 2009: Millipore acquires Guava Technologies, a leading provider of bench top cell analysis systems.
  • 2009: Millipore opens state-of-the-art Biomanufacturing Sciences and Training Center in Singapore.
  • 2009: Millipore acquires BioAnaLab, a European-based firm specializing in the analysis of biologic drugs and vaccines.
  • 2010: Merck acquires Millipore. In future, Millipore will be part of the EMD Group.

Financial history[edit]

Millipore Corporation had been publicly traded on the OTC, or NASDAQ, exchange where it had paid a cash dividend to shareholders every year since 1966.[3]

In 1969, Waters Corporation founder James Logan Waters asked Dimitri D'Arbeloff, then president of Millipore Corporation, to join Waters Corporation's board of directors in order to help steer the Waters company back to profitability. Millipore's venture capital subsidiary then also made a US$600,000 equity investment in Waters Corp.

Millipore also developed the Millipore chamber or more formally known as the Millipore Diffusion chamber. The device is a round-shaped chamber widely used for in-vivo research. It is sealed at each end with a cell-impenetrable cellulose filter which permits the growth of transplanted cells or tissue while allowing nutrients through.

Through the long bear market of the 1970s, Millipore's stock rose over fourfold to its peak in 1985. Earnings were rapidly growing through the early 1980s, and had nearly tripled by then to over US$30 million.[3]

In 1986, the stock split two-for-one, and in 1987 it again doubled from its 1985 peak, as the P/E ratio continued to expand into the mid 20s range. By year end 1987 earnings had grown to nearly US$45 million. Also in 1987 Millipore Corporation moved from the NASDAQ exchange to the New York Stock Exchange, where it traded under the new ticker symbol MIL.[3]

Coming out of the 1990-1991 recession, Millipore Corporation's earnings suffered between 1992 and 1993, dropping again to as low as US$30 million that second year. But by 1995, they had more than recovered, nearly tripling from that low to almost US$85 million. However, the company had accumulated US$105 million in long-term debt by then as well.[3]

By the mid 1990s Millipore Corporation had been added to the S&P 500 list of the biggest publicly traded companies in the United States. In 1995 the stock split again two-for-one, and by early 1996 it had doubled again in price from the 1987 peak.[3]

In late October, 2005, Millipore acquired NovAseptic for US$91 million, a Swedish company specialising in aseptic processing equipment for making pharmaceutical and biologic drugs. Earlier in the week it had bought MicroSafe for US$9.3 million, a Netherlands microbiological testing company.[4]

In 2005, Millipore posted revenues of US$991 million.[5] As of 2007, it had 5,800 employees,[5] and offices and subsidiaries in 32 countries.[6]

In early 2010, Merck KGaA agreed to acquire all outstanding shares of Millipore's common stock, including net debt. The deal is valued at approximately EUR 5.3 billion (US$7.2 billion).[7][8] Merck KGaA is not associated with Merck & Co., although the two companies stem from the same parent company.


  • Milli-Q - a high-end water filter for biochemical and scientific use.

In fiction[edit]

In Michael Crichton's early novel, The Andromeda Strain, millipore filters of varying pore sizes are used in the laboratory to determine the size of a microorganism.

In Jurassic Park, the later novel by the same author, the material used to make synthetic dinosaur eggshells was called "millipore".


  1. ^ Batra, Udit (2014). "Customer Letter" (Press release). EMD Millipore. Retrieved 2016-07-13. [self-published source]
  2. ^ a b Bassett (1959). "Peripheral Nerve and Spinal Cord Regeneration: Factors Leading to Success of a Tubulation Technique Employing Millipore". Experimental Neurology 1: 386–406
  3. ^ a b c d e Standard & Poor's Stock Guide, various issues
  4. ^ Millipore buys NovAseptic for $91m, in-Pharma, 11/07/2005
  5. ^ a b Millipore Corporation. "Millipore - Press Room - Quick Facts". Retrieved 2007-09-10. 
  6. ^ Millipore Corporation. "Millipore - Worldwide Offices". Retrieved 2007-09-10. 
  7. ^ Merck KGaA and Millipore Announce Transaction
  8. ^ STOCKS NEWS US-Merck KGaA to buy Millipore for $6 bln

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 42°32′18.3″N 71°16′59.8″W / 42.538417°N 71.283278°W / 42.538417; -71.283278