Merial was born of the 1997 fusion between the animal health divisions of Rhône-Poulenc and Merck&Co. It is a world leader in animal health.  It is owned entirely by the Sanofi Group and its international headquarters were transferred to Lyon in 2011. Today, the group envisages that all future developments will be made here in Lyon, making it Merial’s nerve centre.

There are 1500 Merial employees working in the Lyon area: in Lyon-Gerland, Saint-Priest, Lentilly and Saint-Vulbas. The 21-hectare Porte des Alpes site houses Merial’s no. 1 vaccine factory (with 400 employees) representing 40% of total production; Merial invested 260 million euros in its construction. In 2017, the international headquarters of Sanofi Pasteur and Merial will move into the same building in the heart of the Lyon-Gerland Biodistrict to better mutualise their functions while bringing together 600 to 700 employees.

Merial said it had invested 250 million euros in the Rhone-Alpes region over the past 5 years, thus confirming that they are firmly anchored in the region.

Specialising in veterinary pharmaceutical medication, in 2013 Merial registered sales figures of 2.1 billion euros. It currently employs 6450 people over 17 production sites and 13 R&D centres around the world.

Every year they produce 23 billion doses of vaccines, 85% of which are exported. The group hopes to increase its leadership by one day making it into the ‘top 20 most desirable companies for graduates’ so as to recruit “the best minds for the best products.”