Biotechs buying in bulk

Massachusetts Biotechnology Council in $250 million deal with Fisher Scientific to support supply needs of the commonwealth's biotechs

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 CAMBRIDGE, Mass.—The Massachusetts Biotechnology Council (MBC) last month announced that it has forged a strategic alliance with Fisher Scientific worth $250 million, in which the Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. subsidiary will support the product and supply chain service needs of Massachusetts biotechnology companies and help to accelerate the industry's growth in the commonwealth.

This solutions-based alliance will give MBC member companies access to the broad array of technologies offered by Fisher Scientific including scientific, safety and laboratory products. Under the agreement, Fisher Scientific will now be in charge of bulk buying for all the council's 600 members. The five-year agreement is expected to generate $50 million each year in sales for Fisher Scientific.

"Our members need the most comprehensive and cost effective solutions we can provide to help them succeed and grow, especially in these difficult economic times. We believe that Fisher Scientifics' portfolio of technologies, lab supply products and services will provide the quality and savings we demand for our members," says Robert K. Coughlin, MBC president and CEO. "This partnership will help us fulfill our mission of fostering an environment that enables every biotechnology company to reach its full potential."

For the past 24 years, MBC council members have ordered their supplies through Pennsylvania-based VWR International LLC. By forming a purchasing alliance, the MBC ensures that companies of any size are able to receive the same pricing and customer services as the largest bio and pharma companies. According to Coughlin, MBC members will gain access to more than 700,000 products at the most competitive pricing available in the marketplace. Fisher Scientific representatives are reaching out to every MBC member company to explain the opportunities rolling out and the process of signing up under the new partnership.

"Fisher has the resources, knowledge and experience to support our growing industry from early- to late-stage companies, and this agreement will allow our members to focus on their true goal—to meet patients' unmet medical needs," he says. "Our members will be getting their lab equipment and chemicals at the most competitive rates in the country. In times like these, we need to make sure our members extend their capital, so they can continue to innovate and solve unmet medical needs. The new agreement also means that the council members' considerable purchasing power will benefit a Massachusetts-based operation."

Success of the alliance can be measured through the extended burn rate of MBC member companies, Coughlin adds.

"For the very small, early stage companies that make up a large percentage of our membership, agreements like these are very important to keeping expenses down and therefore allowing the company to focus energy and funding on the science that discovers cures," he says. 

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