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SERONO LABORATORIES ANNOUNCES $40 MILLION BIOTECH EXPANSION; GOVERNOR WELD APPLAUDS PROGRAM

 RANDOLPH, Mass., June 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Serono Laboratories, Inc. today announced a $40 million expansion of its biotechnology manufacturing and research facilities here. This expansion is one of the largest in the Massachusetts biotechnology industry. Serono Laboratories has signed a Letter of Intent for financing with the Bank of Boston.
 The expansion includes the purchase and renovation of two buildings, adding 105,000 square feet of space to an adjacent existing 55,000- square-foot manufacturing facility which was built in 1983. Also announced today was the approval of a new $100,000 biotechnology training initiative to be funded jointly by Serono and the state.
 Following completion of the expansion, Serono will increase its GMP- approved (Good Manufacturing Practice) biotechnology manufacturing capability to meet growing worldwide demand for the company's genetically engineered products.
 The existing facility is starting to produce Interleukin-6 (IL-6), a potential treatment for blood platelet deficiency, for ongoing worldwide Phase I/II clinical trials. In Serono's expanded biotech manufacturing facilities, IL-6 will be produced in commercial-grade quantities to help meet future worldwide demand.
 The Randolph facility is also a primary source of Saizen(R), a recombinant drug used to treat children with growth hormone deficiencies. Currently, Saizen is available in more than 40 countries worldwide, and pending approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, will be marketed in the United States in 1994.
 According to Hisham Samra, M.D., president of Serono, "Our company has three critical biotechnology manufacturing centers, one in Switzerland, Israel and the United States, specifically, Randolph, Mass. This expansion demonstrates our long-standing partnership with the state and our surrounding communities. It also emphasizes the increasing role that biotechnology is playing in the development of our products."
 "We are very proud that Ares-Serono, with whom we have a long and valued business relationship, will be expanding its world-class operation significantly in our home state," said Charles K. Gifford, president, Bank of Boston. "This loan capitalizes on Bank of Boston's major strengths, our global capability, our expertise in national specialized industries and our commitment to economic development, and will also help to retain and create jobs in the communities we serve."


Tactical Training Initiative for Biotechnology
 The biotechnology training initiative announced today will cover all phases of biotech processing and manufacturing; the program will be administered by Minuteman Technical High School in Lexington, Mass. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is providing $52,000 in educational grants. Serono is adding matching funds in excess of $60,000. More than 30 individuals will attend two sessions, beginning June 6 and continuing through May 1994.
 "Developing an appropriately skilled workforce is a key component to the supportive environment we're trying to create for the growth of biotechnology in Massachusetts," said Massachusetts Governor William F. Weld. "We're thrilled that Serono will be able to take advantage of one of our most innovative new job training programs in choosing to expand here in Randolph."
 "Serono has a history of commitment to education," said Samra. "This new training program will provide a new career opportunity for members of our community and is a vital step toward our vision of Massachusetts as a worldwide biotech center."
 Serono Laboratories, Inc. headquartered in Norwell, Mass., is the leading marketer of infertility products in the United States. The company began developing genetically engineered products in the early 1980s. It employs more than 300 people in Massachusetts at its sites in Norwell and Randolph. Serono Laboratories, established in 1970, is the U.S. pharmaceutical subsidiary of The Ares-Serono Group, which also specializes in the development and production of products in the areas of growth and metabolism and immunology/oncology.
 -0- 6/8/93
 /CONTACT: Gina Cella of Ares-Serono, Inc., 617-982-9000/


CO: Ares-Serono, Inc. ST: Massachusetts IN: MTC SU:

DJ -- NE014 -- 6604 06/08/93 14:00 EDT
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Date:Jun 8, 1993
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