MSD secures a long-term lease for London Discovery Centre and UK Headquarters

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May 31, 2022 7:18 am +00:00

This will be a new, 25,000 square metre specialised life sciences laboratory and office facility strategically located at the heart of London’s Knowledge Quarter

LONDON, May 30, 2022 – MSD (tradename of Merck & Co., Inc., Rahway, N.J., USA (NYSE: MRK)) announced today that a key milestone has been met in securing the site identified as the location for a ~£1bn life sciences investment by the US biopharmaceutical company.

MSD has worked with landowner and developer, Precis Advisory, who have worked together with Camden Council and the local community to get to this stage.  Once developed, the state-of-the-art discovery research centre and HQ will accommodate ~ 800 MSD employees across discovery research and clinical and support roles, including marketing, finance and administration.  Precis Advisory plans to undertake the initial demolition phase this year, with construction expected to start by early 2023, finalising in late 2027.

The Belgrove House development is located directly opposite St. Pancras International and King’s Cross Station. Once developed it will transform the public realm, meet the highest environmental sustainability standards and deliver step-free access to King’s Cross.

MSD will be delivering an educational outreach programme in collaboration with Camden STEAM and is committed to giving back to the local community through investment, volunteering and by providing areas of the building for the public to access and use.

MSD has a growing discovery research team located at the London BioScience Innovation Centre and the neighbouring Francis Crick Institute.  The teams have established scientific collaborations with leading UK institutions including The Crick and Kings College London, as well as European biotechnology companies. In addition, MSD is a founding member of Our Future Health in the UK, and an active participant in several research consortia focused in the area of neurodegeneration.

In early 2021, MSD’s UK HQ moved from Hertfordshire to interim offices in Moorgate to be part of a thriving life-sciences ecosystem, with unrivalled access to talent and connectivity.

Speaking, following progress to exchange on the lease, Dr Fiona Marshall, Senior Vice President and Head of Discovery, Preclinical and Translational Medicine at MSD, commented:

“MSD is proud to be delivering on our UK investment plans, with a future that puts our scientists at the heart of a vibrant centre for innovation and technology development alongside leading research institutes which include some of our current research collaboration partners.  Our mission to discover and develop therapeutics that address unmet medical needs for patients with diseases of ageing is underway in earnest, harnessing the passion and potential of world-leading scientific minds across industry and academia.”

Ben Lucas, Managing Director for MSD in the UK and Ireland, commented:

“We are delighted to have signed the lease on Belgrove House, moving us tangibly forwards in our mission to save and improve lives through investing in pioneering science.  MSD is aligned to the UK’s Life Sciences Vision and committed to playing a leading role in the ecosystem here, with a focus on an innovation partnership with UK Government and the NHS that delivers for patients.  Locally, we are focused on building a strong connection with the community and on contributing positively through our work to such a vibrant environment.”

Rajesh Agrawal, Deputy Mayor of London for Business, commented:

“I am delighted that London will be the home of MSD’s new Discovery Research Centre and UK Headquarters, further boosting London’s position as a world-leading life sciences hub.”

Faaiza Lalji, Director of Planning and Development at Precis Advisory, commented:

“We are very pleased to have signed the lease on Belgrove House with MSD. Working with them has ensured that we are delivering a world class building in the Knowledge Quarter to the highest specification required to meet MSD’s needs for vital life sciences research whilst also being sensitive to the local heritage and at the forefront of minimising the impact on the climate.”

Note to editor:  MSD previously announced the company’s commitment to invest and the work underway to secure Belgrove House.  This announcement communicates the lease exchange.

About MSD

At MSD, known as Merck & Co., Inc., Rahway, NJ, USA in the United States and Canada, we are unified around our purpose: We use the power of leading-edge science to save and improve lives around the world. For more than 130 years, we have brought hope to humanity through the development of important medicines and vaccines. We aspire to be the premier research-intensive biopharmaceutical company in the world – and today, we are at the forefront of research to deliver innovative health solutions that advance the prevention and treatment of diseases in people and animals. We foster a diverse and inclusive global workforce and operate responsibly every day to enable a safe, sustainable and healthy future for all people and communities. For more information, visit and connect with us on @MSDintheUK on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube and Facebook.  

Forward-Looking Statement of Merck & Co., Inc., Rahway, N.J., USA

This news release of Merck & Co., Inc., Rahway, N.J., USA (the “company”) includes “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are based upon the current beliefs and expectations of the company’s management and are subject to significant risks and uncertainties. If underlying assumptions prove inaccurate or risks or uncertainties materialize, actual results may differ materially from those set forth in the forward-looking statements.

Risks and uncertainties include but are not limited to, general industry conditions and competition; general economic factors, including interest rate and currency exchange rate fluctuations; the impact of the global outbreak of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19); the impact of pharmaceutical industry regulation and health care legislation in the United States and internationally; global trends toward health care cost containment; technological advances, new products and patents attained by competitors; challenges inherent in new product development, including obtaining regulatory approval; the company’s ability to accurately predict future market conditions; manufacturing difficulties or delays; financial instability of international economies and sovereign risk; dependence on the effectiveness of the company’s patents and other protections for innovative products; and the exposure to litigation, including patent litigation, and/or regulatory actions.

The company undertakes no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Additional factors that could cause results to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements can be found in the company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2021 and the company’s other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) available at the SEC’s Internet site (

Media Contacts

Laura Newby

(+44) 07980988006

Duncan Hepburn
Precis Advisory

(+44) 07899913293

GB-NON-06001 | Date of Preparation: May 2022