One big, happy family of firms is the goal; but skeptics foresee internal squabbling
An impending merger of the Industrial Biotechnology Association and the Association of Biotechnology Companies will enable the biotech industry to speak with one voice, say those instrumental in forming the unified group. Observers say they expect the combined association to send a clearer message to Congress about what the industry hopes to accomplish, and to provide expanded networking opportunities for its grass-roots membership.

Yet skeptics are wondering if the disparate biotech constituencies represented by these two organizations, which have feuded in the past, will be able to set aside their differences to join in a truly united effort. Further fueling skepticism in some quarters is the fact that the man appointed as president of the merged organization, Carl B. Feldbaum, former chief of staff to Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.), has no direct biotech experience-- although those...

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