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Long-Stalled Glaxo-Smithkline Merger Official: Genomics Powerhouse Born

NEW YORK, Dec 27 – Glaxo Wellcome and Smithkline Beecham have finally tied the knot, launching shares of the newly merged GlaxoSmithkline on the London and New York stock exchanges Wednesday after nearly a year of merger negotiations, the companies announced.

This merger is expected to create a genomics research powerhouse, although its effects on specific genomics collaborations is as yet unclear, according to a Glaxo-Smithkline spokesperson.

“One of the primary reasons for the merger was to ensure the company had the capacity and scope necessary to take advantage of the expanding knowledge of the human genome,” said Rick Koenig, a spokesman for Glaxo-Smithkline R & D.

With genomics, pharmaceutical companies expect to significantly increase the number of drug targets available, Koenig said. The company hopes this merger will allow it to pool information and resources in order to conduct drug discovery on this increased number of targets.

" With an estimated R&D budget of approximately 2.3 billion pounds sterling each year, GlaxoSmithKline will have a powerful research and development capability, encompassing the application of genetics, genomics and other leading edge technologies," Sir Richard Sykes, Chairman of GlaxoSmithkline said in a statement.

GlaxoSmithKline’s headquarters will be located In Brentford, Middlesex, UK, at a facility that is still being built. The US operations will be headquartered at both Research Triangle Park, North Carolina and Philadelphia.

Recently, Glaxo signed a research collaboration with Oxford Glycosciences to discover new protein bio-markers for nine diseases using its proteomics platform. This merger will not affect the collaboration, Stephen Parker, OGS chief financial officer earlier told GenomeWeb.

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