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SPRING HOUSE, PA-Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research & Development LLC has broken ground for a 150,000-sf research facility on the company’s existing 172-acre campus here. The new facility will serve as J&JPRD’s East Coast hub for discovery research and early clinical development.

The estimated construction cost is $181 million, according to a J&JPRD spokesman. The three-story structure “will be separate from, but connected to the main building on the campus,” he tells GlobeSt.com. It is scheduled to open in 2009.

The expansion will create 120 new jobs over the next three years and serve 680 existing employees. The J&JPRD spokesman says the company received a “blend of incentives from the state, totaling nearly $2.3 million.”

According to Gov. Ed Rendell’s office, the package included a grant of nearly $1.3 million through the state’s Infrastructure Development Program, a grant of up to $400,000 in opportunity grants, $125,000 in job training funds and $500,000 in job creation tax credits. The governor’s action team worked with the Montgomery County Industrial Development Corp to assemble the package.

“The new facility will provide our East Coast team with state of the art capabilities to accelerate drug discovery and early development programs,” says Joseph Scodari, Johnson & Johnson’s worldwide chairman of pharmaceuticals, in a statement. To date, more than 15 J&J products, including prescription drugs, have been discovered or developed on the campus.

Raritan, NJ-based J&JPRD is part of Johnson & Johnson. Other J&J early-stage drug-discovery research hubs are in La Jolla, CA and Beerse, Belgium.

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