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SMITHKLINE BEECHAM PHARMACEUTICALS RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT TO CONSOLIDATE AT HARLOW, ESSEX

 PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 28 /PRNewswire/ -- SmithKline Beecham (SB) (NYSE: SBH) today announced plans to consolidate the majority of its UK pharmaceutical R&D activities at Harlow, Essex.
 The company has reached agreement to buy the 40-acre site of British Petroleum's former maritime headquarters in Harlow, adjacent to SB's existing R&D facility. This will enable SB to consolidate its UK R&D activities onto three sites by 1997, from the present seven. The acquisition of this facility provides enough land to eventually consolidate all UK pharmaceutical R&D in one location, if desired.
 "The consolidation to Harlow, at an initial cost of over 200 million pounds sterling, represents a clear commitment by SB to sustain a major R&D effort in the UK," commented Dr. George Poste, chairman R&D, Pharmaceuticals.
 "The primary objective of the Harlow plan is to unite as many R&D functions as possible at a single site. Uniting these work groups that must work closely together will improve interactions and efficiency," he said.
 "There will be significant cost savings through reduction in operating costs by maintaining fewer sites. For example, R&D staff now drive 1.5 million miles annually between UK sites. Eliminating travel to and from Brockham Park, Great Burgh, Reigate and Worthing will greatly reduce this waste of time and effort," Dr. Poste added.
 SB had planned to upgrade its present UK sites by constructing new buildings and refurbishing older facilities at a number of sites north and south of London. However, the opportunity arose to consolidate at Harlow when the BP facility was put up for sale.
 On a practical level, building on an unoccupied site will also mean that many of the new facilities can be constructed without disturbing R&D staff either at their original or intended locations. It is planned that the majority of non-laboratory based groups will be moved to Harlow by the third quarter of 1994 -- six to nine months earlier than anticipated -- with all other departments being moved as soon as possible after that.
 R&D operations from Brockham Park, Great Burgh, Reigate and Worthing will move to Harlow, to join the existing R&D operation based there. SB will maintain its current facilities at Tonbridge and The Frythe.
 SmithKline Beecham is one of the world's leading healthcare companies. Its principal activities are the discovery, development and marketing of both human and animal pharmaceuticals, over-the-counter (OTC) medicines, health-related consumer brands and clinical laboratory testing services.
 /delval/
 -0- 10/28/93
 /CONTACT: Sharyn Arnold, 215-751-7074, or Richard Williams, 215-751-7002, of SmithKline Beecham/
 (SBH)


CO: SmithKline Beecham ST: Pennsylvania IN: MTC SU:

MP -- PH015 -- 7808 10/28/93 10:49 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 28, 1993
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