A Booster Shot For Gene Therapy

FTC trustbusters put conditions on a merger even though the technology is in its infancy

In March, 1996, Swiss drug giants Ciba-Geigy Ltd. and Sandoz Ltd. announced plans to merge, forming a $63 billion company with $30 billion in sales of drugs, herbicides, and much more. But it wasn't only these big products that drew the scrutiny of the Federal Trade Commission's trustbusters. In an unusual move, they focused on the burgeoning area of gene therapy--a field with no products, no sales, and a market that is a decade or more from taking off.

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