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New Jersey Leads in Medical Research, According to FDA

New Brunswick, NJ, March 29, 1999 — Thirty-eight new medicines were approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1998, and 14 of those drugs were the result of research by New Jersey-based pharmaceutical companies.  More than 160 patent approvals were given to medical technology companies from our state.

New Jersey is the nerve center for an industry that will spend over $20 billion nationally on research and development, much of which is spent here in company facilities and in partnerships with New Jersey academic research institutions.  More than 60 diseases are being researched in New Jersey on a daily basis.  

These include heart disease, cancer, and stroke, the top three leading causes of death among Americans. Other ongoing research includes HIV/AIDS, Alzheimer’s disease, osteoporosis, and mental illness.

“The research facilities in our state house some of the world’s most brilliant scientific minds,” said William H. Tremayne, President of the HealthCare Institute of New Jersey, an association that promotes public awareness of the research-based pharmaceutical and medical technology industry in the state.  “Many New Jerseyans don’t realize that, in addition to the medicines and medical devices they may use on a regular basis that come from local companies, some of the world’s most advanced research is being done in those companies as well.”

New Jersey’s dominance in medical research actually began early in this century, with the discovery of streptomycin, the first antibiotic effective against tuberculosis, by Nobel Prize-winner SelmanWaksman of Rutgers University.  The drug was developed by Merck.

Other major medical discoveries from New Jersey include cortisone, developed jointly by researchers at Mayo Clinic and Merck; Valium and Librium, developed by Hoffmann-La Roche; and Ortho-Novum birth control pills, developed by Ortho-McNeil, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson.

“The chances are strong that when cures for the major diseases of today are found, or when new medical devices that dramatically improve the quality of life are developed, the medicines and the devices will come from New Jersey companies,” said Tremayne.

For more information about the research-based pharmaceutical and medical technology industry in New Jersey, visit the HealthCare Institute’s website or call 732-342-8442. 

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