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Apr 16, 2008

EMD and Merck Serono to Fork Out $50M for New Research Center in Massachusetts

  • Merck Serono and U.S. affiliate, EMD Serono, are shelling out $50 million to expand the Billerica facility outside of Boston, MA. Construction will begin early next year and is expected to be complete in 2010.

    The companies plan on a 210,000 sq. ft. center of excellence in discovery, which will include more than 160,000 sq. ft. of lab space.  The new site will accommodate approximately 250 scientists. About 50 employees will be involved in process development and protein production. The rest will focus on cancer- and fertility-related R&D.

    EMD also has a protein-production plant at Billerica and believes that its proximity to the planned site will help collaborations and the transition from research to manufacturing.

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Scientifically Studying Ecstasy

MDMA (commonly known as the empathogen “ecstasy”) is classified as a Schedule 1 drug, which is reserved for compounds with no accepted medical use and a high abuse potential. Two researchers from Stanford, however, call for a rigorous scientific exploration of MDMA's effects to identify precisely how the drug works, the data from which could be used to develop therapeutic compounds.

Do you agree that ecstasy should be studied for its potential therapeutic benefits?

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