media release

New Organon Facility Makes the Most of Fine Scottish Blend

Newhouse research site will enhance Akzo Nobel Pharma’s expertise by embracing Scotland’s growing reputation as a bioscientific force.

Arnhem, the Netherlands, October 6, 2000 – Organon, Akzo Nobel’s human healthcare business, officially opened a new research facility today to strengthen its unique position as a pharmaceutical company performing drug discovery activities in Scotland. In this facility, after a second investment of EUR 17 mln, around 280 people will be employed in the year 2001, with further growth foreseen for the years to follow.

Scotland is fast becoming one of the key regions for bioscience and biobusiness. Akzo Nobel has acknowledged this formidable blend by upscaling its established research activities at Newhouse, one of the primary locations in the world where the company carries out its drug development program.

Speaking at today’s opening ceremony, the chairman of Akzo Nobel’s Board of Management, Mr. Cees van Lede, outlined the importance of the Newhouse site’s contribution to Organon’s outstanding success and explained why the company views Scotland as being such a key strategic location.

"Success, of course, has many fathers, but the R&D group in Newhouse has certainly been at the roots at Akzo Nobel Pharma’s success," he said.

"Bioscience and biobusiness is simultaneously available in Scotland and the country has a lot to offer. Scottish universities are producing nearly 15% of the UK’s top graduates in biosciences, 30% of its medical graduates and 18% of its biotechnical graduates, despite the fact that Scotland represents only 9% of the total UK population.

"The fact that Organon is now the only pharmaceutical company performing drug discovery activities in Scotland puts us in a unique position, which is very attractive in terms of recruiting the best employees Scotland has to offer."

In an environment packed with such potential, activities at Newhouse should thrive, the site having already made significant contributions to the development of Organon muscle relaxants such as Pavulon®, Norcuron® and Esmeron®.

"The role of Newhouse in these successes has been substantial," added Mr. Van Lede. "The R&D pipeline also contains a further series of promising compounds that originate from Newhouse which may add to the success of Organon and its sister companies in the future."

Organon has been realizing an annual growth significantly above the industry average for a number of years. In 1999 a growth of 24% has been realized, for a substantial part by organic growth. The prospects for continuing such a growth is anticipated, being at least double digit.

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