GSK chief wants Olympics lab to outlast games

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GlaxoSmithKline has scored a slew of publicity on its Olympic drug-testing lab. Apparently, though, CEO Andrew Witty isn't satisfied with whatever image-boosting points GSK ($GSK) gains from the anti-doping facility. He wants to make drug testing a long-term profit center--but not for the drugmaker itself.

"What we're determined to do is to make sure that after the Olympics and after the Paralympics, this becomes a permanent business," Witty told the Telegraph. "This isn't a one-off phenomenon that gets thrown away."

GSK built up the laboratory at a plant in Harlow, England, with a team of more than 150 scientists charged with testing 400 samples a day for the games. During the Olympics, the lab will officially be run by the International Olympic Committee. By year's end, Witty hopes to determine whether this "cutting-edge test facility" could be sold or offloaded to a consortium to operate it on an ongoing basis.

"This has the potential to be a sustainable business, not a Glaxo business, but a sustainable business with permanent jobs created, which I think is very exciting," Witty told the Telegraph. "It doesn't have to just do drug tests for athletes. It could do other types of testing. There's a demand for that kind of thing, and we think this is absolutely deliverable as a sustainable business post-Games."

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