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Biotech firms to get new base at Glaxo site

Source: Reuters - Tue 20th Oct 2009

GlaxoSmithKline has linked with the government and the Wellcome Trust medical charity to foster a new generation of biotech companies at its Stevenage site north of London.

The world's second largest drug maker said on Tuesday it was providing land, facilities and investment totalling nearly 11 million pounds, with a remaining 27 million pounds of initial funding coming from government agencies and Wellcome.

Glaxo Chief Executive Andrew Witty said the Stevenage campus would act as a hub for the life sciences industry, helping Britain compete with U.S. biotech centres like those in Boston, California and North Carolina.

Having young start-ups on its doorstep will also allow Glaxo to keep tabs on promising new products and technologies. Like all big drug makers, Glaxo is keen to sign up rights to attractive experimental drugs emerging from biotech companies' laboratories.

Biotech groups locating to the new business park will have shared access to specialist skills and equipment. It is anticipated that when complete the new centre will be the base for approximately 1,500 scientists.

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