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Covance Finalizes Merck Deal, Delays Construction of Preclinical Unit

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Covance officially closed a deal with Merck earlier this week to provide genomics analysis services to the drug developer for the next five years. Under the terms of the $145-million agreement, the contract research organization (CRO) acquired Merck’s Seattle-based Gene Expression Laboratory. All Merck employees related to the Seattle facility became Covance employees as of August 17.

Covance also announced this week that it is delaying plans to construct a $145-million preclinical toxicology testing facility in Virginia, a site that was purchased from Eli Lilly in 2007. Construction will be delayed for up to two years, Covance said. In its Q2 2009 financial statement, released in July, the company attributed a drop in early-stage revenues to a drop in preclinical demand.

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