Worries on drug research

A House of Commons select committee will this afternoon question representatives of Glaxo and Wellcome about the implications for scientific research of the proposed merger between the two drugs groups.

Wellcome's largest shareholder, the Wellcome Trust, will also face questions from the Commons science and technology committee. The trust received High Court approval last week to sell its 39.5 per cent stake to Glaxo as part of the £9bn bid for Wellcome.

Sir Giles Shaw, the Tory chairman of the committee will take evidence on the extent to which a combination of Glaxo and Wellcome would affect research by the two companies, which between them spent more than £1bn on R&D last year.