Page last updated at 08:51 GMT, Sunday, 28 June 2009 09:51 UK

Drug company's 100m HQ is opened

Sir Terry Pratchett
Sir Terry Pratchett attended the opening of the facility

A leading pharmaceutical company has officially opened its new £100m European headquarters in Hertfordshire.

Eisai specialises in drugs for conditions such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and epilepsy.

Some 250 research jobs will be created at the European Knowledge Centre (EKC) in Hatfield.

Eisai said it planned to bring new products to market in the coming years including potential new treatments for Alzheimer's disease, epilepsy and MS.

Author Sir Terry Pratchett, who has early stage Alzheimer's disease, said at the official opening: "Since I was diagnosed with this disease I have always said that my goal is to stay alive and working as long as possible.

"I know the next two decades will see a tsunami of Alzheimer's sufferers, all desperately hoping for a treatment which will allow them to live more easily with the condition.

"Alzheimer's research started late compared to many other diseases and the wave is already breaking.

"I welcome the opening of the new research facility... as another step towards making these goals a reality for me and many hundreds of thousands of others around the world. I hope everyone employed in it works overtime."

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