Alain Mérieux holds a doctorate in pharmaceutical sciences, he is a former intern at the Hospitals of Lyon and an alumnus of the Harvard Business School. In 1963, Alain Mérieux created BD Mérieux, owned equally by Institut Mérieux and Becton Dickinson. In 1968, Alain Mérieux took over the Presidency of the Institut Mérieux and gave the group its position as world leader in the field of vaccines, both in human medicine and veterinary medicine. He held the presidency until 1994, having in 1985 taken control of the Institut Pasteur Production in France, and in 1989 directed the acquisition of Connaught Laboratories in North America. When Alain Mérieux became, in 1974, the majority shareholder of BD Mérieux, the company took the name of bioMérieux. Alain Mérieux has held the Presidency since that date. This company is now one of the top ten global biological diagnosis firms. From 1986 to 1998, he also assumed the role of Vice-Chairman of the Rhône-Alpes Regional Council, in charge of International Relations, Economic Development, Research and Higher Education.
Alain Mérieux also chairs the Mérieux Foundation, a family foundation, recognised as a public service utility, which works in developing countries to build capacity to fight against infectious diseases. The Mérieux Foundation has been cooperating since 2007 with the Ministry of Health of China on the prevention and control of infectious diseases.
During his last visit to China, Alain Mérieux met Chinese Vice-President Xi Jingping who thanked the Mérieux Foundation for its support and contribution to the development of public health programs in China.