"Patent box" encourages GSK to invest $330 million more in UK

LONDON Tue Dec 10, 2013 7:03pm EST

A no entry sign is pictured outside the GlaxoSmithKline building in Hounslow, West London June 18, 2013. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor

A no entry sign is pictured outside the GlaxoSmithKline building in Hounslow, West London June 18, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Luke MacGregor

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LONDON (Reuters) - GlaxoSmithKline is to invest another 200 million pounds ($330 million) on advanced manufacturing in Britain, the company said on Wednesday, underlining the draw of a tax break designed to encourage research and development.

Britain's so-called "patent box" scheme, which offers a reduced rate of corporation tax on income derived from patents, has been hailed by GSK, its biggest drugmaker, for transforming the country as a place to invest.

Last year GSK announced it was building its first new factory in Britain for 40 years as a result of the scheme. The latest move will help it ramp up output of new lung drug Relvar, produce the long-established antibiotic Augmentin and develop innovative technologies for medicine production.

Britain's health minister, Jeremy Hunt, welcomed the new investment. But not all Britain's European partners are as enthusiastic about such patent box arrangements.

In July Germany called for a ban on these schemes, saying they created unfair competition. Patent boxes also operate in the Netherlands and some other European Union member states. ($1=0.6103 British pounds)

(Reporting by Ben Hirschler; Editing by Greg Mahlich)

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