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SANDOZ COMMITS TO COOPERATING WITH NIH TO RESOLVE CONCERNS OVER COLLABORATIVE RESEARCH

 WASHINGTON, June 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Sandoz Pharmaceuticals Corporation today reaffirmed its willingness to work with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the House Subcommittee on Regulation, Business Opportunities and Technology to seek a resolution of all remaining issues with respect to Sandoz' proposed biomedical research agreement with The Scripps Research Institute.
 Today's statement followed Sandoz Pharmaceuticals' June 16 transmittal of a letter to NIH from Timothy G. Rothwell, president and chief executive officer of the company. In that letter, Rothwell pledged to NIH the company's "full cooperation" in working with NIH and the subcommittee "in good faith to address all of (their) concerns prior to July 1, 1993." Sandoz Pharmaceuticals issued today's statement in response to the hearing held by the subcommittee, at which NIH testified about the proposed agreement.
 Rothwell went on to note that, in December 1992, Sandoz Pharmaceuticals was granted the option to enter into a research agreement with Scripps. The December 1992 agreement provides that Sandoz Pharmaceuticals must decide, by July 1, 1993, whether to execute its proposed agreement with Scripps.
 Throughout the company's negotiations with Scripps, Sandoz Pharmaceuticals was confident that the document, as originally drafted, conformed to all applicable federal laws and policies. However, NIH raised a number of questions, during a March 11 hearing before the same House subcommittee, about the propriety of certain aspects of the current draft of the proposed agreement.
 After the March 11 hearing, Sandoz Pharmaceuticals learned that NIH attorneys were preparing a letter to Scripps setting forth a definitive list of concerns. While NIH prepared that letter, the company's' attorneys communicated to NIH officials Sandoz' willingness to meet with them to address NIH's specific concerns. Throughout this period, the company had hoped that NIH's willingness to specify its objections might allow the company to take appropriate steps well in advance of the House subcommittee's hearing today. However, Sandoz Pharmaceuticals understands, and appreciates, that the process of completing and reviewing that letter consumed a substantial amount of time.
 On Monday, June 14, 1993, Scripps' officials provided Sandoz Pharmaceuticals with a copy of a letter dated June 11, 1993, from the NIH Legal Advisor, Robert B. Lanman. That letter described in some detail a number of issues relating to the proposed agreement. Sandoz Pharmaceuticals understands that the concerns NIH expressed in that letter may be shared by the subcommittee. In response to inquiries on June 15 from NIH, the company's attorneys indicated that Sandoz Pharmaceuticals would not object to NIH's release of Lanman's June 11 letter.
 During the ensuing 48-hour period, the company reviewed the points made in NIH's letter and gave careful consideration to various ways in which NIH's concerns could be addressed. Since the parties currently have an opportunity to negotiate appropriate amendments before the agreement goes into effect, Rothwell wrote to Lanman on June 16 to request a meeting. In his letter, Rothwell confirmed that, "to the fullest extent possible, (Sandoz) will work with (NIH and the subcommittee) in good faith to address al of NIH's concerns prior to July 1, 1993."
 In addition, Rothwell took particular exception to the gratuitous characterizations of Sandoz Pharmaceuticals as a "foreign" company. While Sandoz Pharmaceuticals' parent is a Swiss company, the Sandoz presence in the United States is, indeed, decidedly American. Sandoz Chemical Works was incorporated in the state of New York in 1919. Sandoz companies in the United States currently employ 12,000 people in 11 states. And, in addition to Sandoz Pharmaceuticals' own substantial corporate tax payments, Sandoz employees pay personal taxes in excess of $100 million.
 Rothwell concluded by noting that Sandoz's position seems to be consistent with the views of the NIH subagency -- the John E. Fogarty International Center for Advanced Study in the Health Sciences -- that focuses on NIH's international research efforts. Last month, the director of the Fogarty Center told a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee:
 "Research cooperation is a two-way street ... Future scientific leaders in universities, industry and the federal government must be true internationalists. They must be able to function across national borders, drawing knowledge from international sources, and understand the geographic diversity of cultures and economic and political systems."
 -0- 6/17/93
 /CONTACT: Larry Bauer of Sandoz Pharmaceuticals, 201-503-7895/


CO: Sandoz Pharmaceuticals; National Institutes of Health ST: District of Columbia IN: MTC HEA SU:

KD-IH -- DC026 -- 3209 06/17/93 15:12 EDT
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