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MERCK AND BANYU DEDICATE MAJOR NEW PHARMACEUTICAL RESEARCH FACILITY

MERCK AND BANYU DEDICATE MAJOR NEW PHARMACEUTICAL RESEARCH FACILITY
 TSUKUBA SCIENCE CITY, Japan, June 10 /PRNewswire/ -- The dedication today of the Tsukuba Research Institute, Japan's newest pharmaceutical research center, brings the goal of leadership in the Japanese pharmaceutical industry one step closer for Banyu Pharmaceutical Co., said P. Roy Vagelos, M.D., chairman of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE: MRK) of Rahway, N.J.
 Merck, the world's largest prescription drug company, holds a majority position in Banyu.
 Vagelos joined Dr. Koichi Iwadare, chairman of Banyu, in inaugural ceremonies at the $153 million facility built by Banyu in Tsukuba. Also participating were Dr. Edward M. Scolnick, president of the Merck Research Laboratories, and Dr. Susumu Nishimura, an eminent cancer researcher who was director of the Biology Division at the National Cancer Center Research Institute in Japan before assuming the responsibilities of director for the Tsukuba Research Institute.
 Cancer, infectious diseases and cardiovascular disorders will be the main targets of scientific investigation at the institute.
 "The dedication of this laboratory fulfills a dream we have shared for more than ten years," Vagelos told 200 academic and industrial scientists attending the ceremonies. "When Banyu -- under Dr. Iwadare's leadership -- and Merck & Co., Inc., ... first agreed to work more closely together to strengthen and continue to build a fully integrated organization, we envisioned a company that would lead the Japanese pharmaceutical industry in quality of production, breadth of product line and intensity of research. With today's ceremony, we come yet another step closer to that goal."
 From its beginning in 1915, Banyu has been research-oriented, said Iwadare, who added that the new facility is his company's response to the growing importance of research on innovative drugs. It will consolidate basic research programs from Banyu's existing laboratories at Meguro and Okazaki.
 The Tsukuba institute contains approximately 374,000 square feet of floor space in a four-story structure designed to house 350 persons, 250 of them laboratory scientists. Initially, 300 will be employed at Tsukuba.
 Construction of the new laboratories began in early 1990.
 The Tsukuba Research Institute is operated by Banyu and is affiliated with the Merck global research and development network consisting of 16 laboratories in seven countries.
 The Merck-Banyu relationship dates back to the 1950s when Banyu began importing cortisone manufactured by Merck. This business association led, in 1984, to Merck obtaining a majority position in Banyu. The stock transaction was the first of its kind involving a first-tier company on the Tokyo stock exchange.
 Merck has budgeted $1.1 billion for research and development in 1992, 16 percent more than it spent last year.
 The 1991 expenditure represented approximately 10 percent of all spending by U.S. pharmaceutical companies and 5 percent of all research spending by pharmaceutical companies worldwide.
 /delval/
 -0- 6/10/92
 /CONTACT: Roy W. Walker of Merck & Co., Inc., 215-661-3680 or evenings, 215-355-5968/
 (MRK) CO: Merck & Co., Inc.; Banyu Pharmaceutical Co. ST: Pennsylvania IN: MTC SU:


JS -- PH035 -- 8924 06/10/92 15:42 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jun 10, 1992
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