More MS news articles for July 2001

Abbott opens research center in Parsippany

http://www.bergen.com/biz/abbott10200107105.htm

Tuesday, July 10, 2001
By LEWIS KRAUSKOPF
Staff Writer

Abbott Laboratories established a major foothold in pharmaceutical-rich New Jersey on Monday with its opening of an immunoscience drug development center in Parsippany.

The Chicago-based healthcare giant transferred about 170 employees from Mount Olive to staff the facility. Mount Olive had been the base of operations for the pharmaceutical unit of chemicals group BASF AG, which Abbott acquired in March.

The Parsippany center will continue clinical development of medicines for ailments such as rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn's disease, and multiple sclerosis that started under BASF.

"We had a significant base of employees who were here who had the expertise for developing the immunoscience products," said Abbott spokeswoman Rhonda Luniak.

One of the compounds Abbott will be developing in Parsippany is D2E7, an experimental treatment for rheumatoid arthritis, which could be a blockbuster. Abbott expects to apply for U.S. approval for D2E7 in the second quarter of 2002.

Since the March closing of its $6.9 billion purchase, Abbott laid off about 250 employees from Mount Olive. Those workers had administrative duties, making them duplicative of employees in Abbott's Chicago headquarters, Luniak said. About 20 former BASF employees moved to Chicago, she said.

The BASF purchase gave Abbott a mid-tier pharmaceutical company and bolstered its European presence and research and development arm. Abbott also acquired a manufacturing plant in Whippany in the transaction.

Staff Writer Lewis Krauskopf's e-mail address is krauskopf@northjersey.com

Copyright © 2001 North Jersey Media Group Inc.