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Merck Donates Its Biotech Collection to a Bucks County Research Foundation

(Dr. Timothy Block of the Hepatitis B Foundation, left, gets a symbolic key from Dr. Roger Pomerantz, senior vice president of Merck Pharmaceuticals, on Tuesday.  Photo by Brad Segall)

(Dr. Timothy Block of the Hepatitis B Foundation, left, gets a symbolic key from Dr. Roger Pomerantz, senior vice president of Merck Pharmaceuticals, on Tuesday. Photo by Brad Segall)

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DOYLESTOWN, Pa. (CBS) - The research arm of the Hepatitis B Foundation, based in Bucks County, is receiving one of the world’s largest natural products libraries, thanks to a donation from pharma giant Merck.

Merck & Co. says it donated the library to the Institute for Hepatitis and Virus Research because of the great work being done at the Pennsylvania Biotech Center in Doylestown.

The donation ensures that the valuable collection will be available to scientists worldwide who are searching for new treatments for diseases.

“It’s like one of the best art collections in the world that has been kept privately and now it’s going to be made available to anybody in the world to come and see it,” says Dr. Tim Block, founder and president of the Hepatitis B Foundation.

Scientists have spent decades scouring the world for the natural products (mostly plants and other organic materials) that are now part of the library — many of which have already contributed to vaccines and medications. They are hoping that Bucks County will become a destination place for people looking for natural products treatments.

Merck also made an undisclosed monetary donation to create a new home for the library.

Reported by Brad Segall, KYW Newsradio 1060

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