Life Sciences Leaders, Advocates Launch New Partnership to Promote Benefits of Pro-Innovation Mergers & Acquisitions

Oct 4, 2023 | Press Release

Partnership for the U.S. Life Science Ecosystem to raise awareness on importance of mergers and acquisitions in advancing future cures and treatments

WASHINGTON, D.C. – More than thirty leading organizations from across the life sciences today launched the Partnership for the U.S. Life Science Ecosystem (PULSE), a coalition to raise awareness of the fundamental role of pro-innovation mergers and acquisitions (M&A) in advancing the next generation of treatments and cures for patients.

The U.S. is home to thousands of life sciences and biopharmaceutical companies, comprising one of the most diverse and highly competitive industries worldwide. Life sciences companies of all sizes engage in M&A to achieve broad, efficient allocation of resources and expertise that are essential to stay in operation and navigate the complex regulatory, reimbursement and distribution systems within the biopharmaceutical market. Pro-innovation M&A offers an indispensable bridge that helps shepherd early discoveries into the lifesaving treatments and cures needed for patients. 

Policymakers, regulators and the courts have long recognized the unique aspects of the life sciences industry, including the differentiated and vital role that pro-innovation M&A plays within it. On average, it takes 10-15 years and costs $2.6 billion to develop and bring a new medicine to patients, including the cost of the many failures along the way. Only 12 percent of new molecular entities that enter clinical trials eventually receive U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval.

Even when a medicine or treatment receives regulatory approval, the competition that exists – between innovative products already on the market, emerging new therapies in development and, eventually generic and biosimilar competition – all contribute to America’s life sciences ecosystem being one of the most competitive industries in the world.

Recently, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) articulated a new approach to antitrust enforcement that runs counter to long-standing precedent that has guided pro-innovation M&A for decades. If continued, the FTC’s flawed approach to M&A review and enforcement would undermine the dynamic ecosystem responsible for many of the world’s most innovative and important treatments. Deterring pro-innovation M&A would obstruct the many complementary relationships across the life sciences ecosystem, stalling treatments and cures for patients while risking jobs, wages and economic growth in every state.

PULSE members – representing frontline researchers, employees, and leaders of life sciences companies of all sizes – will collectively highlight the importance of shared efficiencies and expertise that companies leverage across the development process through M&A to make sure patients receive lifesaving treatments as quickly as possible. PULSE members will also provide real-world insight into the economic importance and benefits of M&A within local communities and to broader growth and development. 

A full list of partners is included here

“When you consider the various milestones where M&A is so vital to a medicine’s discovery, development and distribution, it becomes all the more imperative that policymakers recognize the importance and immediacy in protecting these pro-innovation partnerships,” Joan Koerber-Walker, President and CEO of AZBio, said. “In Arizona, we have multiple examples where two companies have come together.  The combined firms were able to leverage increased operational efficiencies and reach more patients as they brought their health innovation to market. The positive impacts are measurable in job creation and economic growth. And, best of all, more patients here in Arizona and around the world, are reaping the benefits.”

“Colorado’s growing life sciences community, recently ranked 8th in the country by JLL, makes important contributions to the state’s economy,” said Elyse Blazevich, President & CEO of Colorado BioScience Association. “Mergers and acquisitions support our state’s health innovators working to bring breakthroughs from the lab bench to a patient’s bedside.  We find that acquired companies often retain a foothold in our state because of our top talent and quality of life.”  

“The vast majority of life sciences companies are small businesses, and the ability to grow, innovate and consistently scale relies on M&A,” Karen Kerrigan, President and CEO of the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council, said. “Policymakers and regulators should take great caution in adopting antitrust policies that pose a fundamental disruption to the very essence of partnership that brings patients the innovative and breakthrough medicines they need.”

More information, including on how to become a partner with PULSE, can be found at