The Merger That Didn’t Happen

After months of discussions, plans for a merger of the nation’s two largest biotechnology associations have fallen through. The Industrial Biotechnology Association had proposed joining forces with the Association of Biotechnology Companies in July. In discussions that went on through the summer, the two Washington-based organizations couldn’t resolve questions about equal representation of their members, according to the ABC’s new executive director, Pamela Bridgen. Although there is some overlapping between the two groups, IBA’s member companies tend to be larger and pay higher dues than those in the ABC, which also includes noncorporate groups like universities and independent institutes. The ABC has now proposed a “Biotechnology Association’s Roundtable,” which would meet quarterly to review biotechnology issues and plan strategy, but Richard Godown, the IBA president, says the idea “seems improbable at this time" and suggested that the ABC’s rejection of the merger will likely mean...

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