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Pharma firms in biotech cluster

Roche, Merck Serono and Abbott are to join forces in the development of the Biotechnology Cluster Rhine-Neckar, one of the leading life science clusters in Europe

Roche, Merck Serono and Abbott are to join forces in the development of the Biotechnology Cluster Rhine-Neckar (BioRN), one of the leading life science clusters in Europe.

The BioRN cluster focuses on the development of innovative drugs, diagnostics and technologies in cell-based and molecular medicine. "The success of the BioRN cluster, which brings together some 100 partners in business and research, rests partly on the excellent pioneering research being done here in the Rhine-Neckar region and on the presence of several major corporations, many of them global leaders in their field such as Roche, Merck Serono and Abbott," said Dr Jürgen Schwiezer, CEO of the Roche diagnostics division.

Roche and Merck Serono, along with small biotech companies and major research institutions, already participate in BioRN cluster activities. As well as developing drugs and diagnostics, the cluster runs special education programmes for life scientists, managers and entrepreneurs.

Speaking about the collaboration, Dr Bernhard Kirschbaum, executive vice president, research and development, at Merck Serono, said: "The strong network that is now formed in the Rhine-Neckar region will lead to the faster translation of technological advances and market intelligence into competitive advantage and ultimately benefits for patients."

The companies made the announcement at the annual BIO-Europe partnering event.

17th November 2008

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