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NCTR's raving response.

NCTR's Raving Response

The notion of forming a non-profit cooperative to attract more biotech companies to The National Center for Toxicological Research in Pine Bluff is on its way, but still hasn't received the publicity it deserves. (See Arkansas Business Nov. 5).

Especially the response it drew.

A survey conducted in early 1990 to gauge how hot the idea is went out to 2,500 biotech companies. Of those responding, 77 percent agreed there was a need for a "National Biotech Cooperative."

An amazing 102 companies said yes when asked, essentially, "If we leased you this space (here in Pine Bluff), with access to this equipment, for this amount, would you be interested?"

An NCTR spokesman says of course all of those leads would not materialize, but that is "more than we could possibly accommodate." The center has 400,000 SF available for renovation and use.

Despite the trumpeted arrival of Transgenic Sciences recently, the build-up process at the NCTR has been a slow one, in part because of government red tape. This "Plan B" of sorts could be the ticket to speedier results.

The idea is for the government to sell (or virtually donate) space and possibly equipment to a non-profit group, whose management would translate into less regulation. The non-profit's board would ideally consist of CEOs of biotech firms.
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Title Annotation:Whispers; The National Center for Toxicological Research
Publication:Arkansas Business
Date:Dec 3, 1990
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