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Drug Company Renews Accord to Fund Scripps

October 09, 1986|JEFFREY MILLER | Times Staff Writer

Johnson & Johnson has renewed an agreement with Scripps Clinic and Research Foundation under which the New Jersey-based pharmaceutical firm will underwrite $70 million in biomedical research at the facility over the next 10 years in exchange for the rights to develop the fruits of the research for commercial use.

The new agreement, announced this week by Scripps President Charles C. Edwards, essentially renews an arrangement that has been in effect since 1982. Although Edwards said he was "obviously very delighted" that the institution will continue to have a stable source of private funding, he said he had not been worried that Johnson & Johnson would let the agreement lapse.

"I don't think it was ever considered," Edwards said. "We've established a very good, close working relationship with Johnson & Johnson over the past four-plus years."

Most of the work funded by Johnson & Johnson is basic research that can be applied to the development of both therapeutic and diagnostic drugs, Edwards said. The firm operates a research center in Sorrento Valley where findings made at Scripps are refined for commercial use.

The money from Johnson & Johnson augments the $120 million the institute will receive under a 15-year corporate agreement signed last year with PPG Industries, a Pittsburgh-based company that produces herbicides and pesticides. Both pacts promise their respective corporate sponsors the rights to market new technologies. Edwards said the arrangements do not overlap.

Even with its lucrative corporate agreements, Scripps still receives most of its funding--$60 million a year--in the form of federal research grants.

"As far as Scripps is concerned, we're still very successful in terms of being able to get and hold federal research grants," Edwards said. "But (corporate arrangements) tend to give things a stability they might not otherwise have."

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