WASHINGTON -- Members of the U.S. Senate and the House ofRepresentatives met Tuesday to announce the formation of theCongressional Biotechnology Caucus.

The caucus "will be an informal bipartisan forum to promotethe U.S. biotechnology industry and preserve America'scompetitiveness in the biotech field," according to aspokesman for Sen. Hank Brown, R-Colo., one of the caucus'four co-chairmen. The other chairmen are Sen. FrankLautenberg, D-N.J., Rep. Tom McMillen, D-Md., and Rep. TomBliley, R-Va.

The caucus' initial goals will be to recruit other members ofCongress and to investigate the work backlog at the Patent andTrademark Office, according to Steve Chase, Brown's presssecretary. Patent legislation that addresses the backlog willbe considered by the Senate Judiciary Committee sometimeafter the summer recess, according to a committee staffmember. -- By Kris Herbst

(c) 1997 American Health Consultants. All rights reserved.