A Diagnostics & Imaging Week

Minnesota healthcare trade association Medical Alley (St. Louis Park, Minnesota) and MNBIO, the Minnesota biotech association and a chapter of BIO (Washington), this week rolled out plans to merge the two groups, the link-up expected by March 1, they said.

The organizations said that their "discussions began around the convergence of bioscience and medical technology and the need to develop a single voice for the biosciences for members of both non-profit organizations." The expanded focus of the merged organization will be multiple: human health, industrial and agricultural bioscience.

Don Gerhardt, president and CEO of Medical Alley, in a statement, called the combination "a logical way to achieve coordination of effort and focus. We think a single voice and a concentrated effort will produce more actionable results for the industry in the state and region."

"Many members of both organizations have asked about combining the organizations' efforts as our industries are demonstrating convergence," said Ray Frost, executive director of MNBIO. "Medical Alley and MNBIO have always been supportive of each other's activities so the merger was a natural progression."

Gerhardt will be the CEO of the new organization, with Frost serving as senior vice president. The merged organization will be called Medical Alley until a revised mission is developed and a new name is defined. The two groups share about 45 member organizations, resulting in a combined membership of 550. The boards of both organizations and MNBIO's membership have voted approval of the merger.

BIO also has provided a letter of support, and Medical Alley will be the official state affiliate of BIO, going forward.

Founded in 1984, Medical Alley reports its membership includes medical technology manufacturers, health plans/ insurers, pharmaceutical and bioscience companies, hospitals and clinics, academic/research institutions, and healthcare service and consulting companies. As the Minnesota chapter of BIO, MNBIO says it offers "valuable connections to other organizations across the country."