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In it Together?

The Scripps Research Institute may merge with or be acquired by the University of Southern California, reports U-T San Diego. Such a move, the paper adds, would help to support the institute as it deals with the expense of opening a satellite campus in Florida, increased pension costs, and greater competition for federal grants.

In a statement, Scripps and USC say they are considering "possibility of a relationship that would enhance the missions of both institutions."

Such a merger, U-T San Diego adds, is uncommon.

“I’ve never heard of quite anything like this,” Derek Lowe, a medicinal chemist and blogger at In the Pipeline, says. “It’s not like universities do this. You don’t hear that Penn is taking over Penn State in a corporate merger.”

U-T San Diego notes that USC has been successful in recent private fundraising endeavors, an area where Scripps has just begun to explore as NIH funding gets tighter.