Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger helped dedicate a new $60 million (Ђ51.3 million) research center for pharmaceutical giant Allergan Inc., which has amassed a fortune with one of Hollywood's hottest products - Botox.
"This is all for Joan Rivers," quipped the governor, a reference to the 72-year-old comedian whose unlined face is often the target of Botox and plastic-surgery jokes. The remark drew loud laughter from the approximately 200 Allergan employees who attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony.
The new Herbert Research Center, named for company founder Gavin Herbert, will allow Allergan to further conduct research in eye diseases and other areas. The company's most popular product is Botox, made from botulism toxin and used in small quantities to treat neurological ailments and smooth wrinkles and age lines.
Reporters were not allowed to ask the governor questions and were kept at a distance during the event. But Schwarzenegger spokeswoman Julie Soderlund, responding to a question from The Associated Press, said the governor has never used the product himself. Joking aside, Schwarzenegger praised the publicly traded company for its commitment to being a leader in its field and its contribution to California's economy, AP reports.
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