Drug companies unite around March for Science: 4 things to know

Many drug companies supported Saturday's March for Science protest, despite President Donald Trump's growing scrutiny of the pharmaceutical industry, reports CNBC.

Here are four things to know.

1. The March for Science, which occurred in more than 600 cities globally, aimed to highlight the important role science plays in society and policy, according to the report. While the march's organizers said the event was not linked to any specific politician or political party, the movement was spurred by President Trump's views on global warming, vaccines and other matters, which have distressed the scientific community.

2. Drug companies — which are highly regulated by the government but heavily rely on science to develop new medications — offered a cautious, yet supportive response to the march.

"A march on Washington under the idea of a march around science could be considered a partisan protest of the Trump administration," Brian Skorney, an analyst with Robert W. Baird, told CNBC. "I think the industry's careful that they don't want to be seen as an opposition force."

3. Intellia Therapeutics, Tetraphase Pharmaceuticals and Warp Drive Bio all sponsored the March for Science in Boston, according to the report. Verily, Alphabet's life sciences company, was among the sponsors for the march in San Francisco.

"Our team at Verily feels strongly that science has been undermined of late," Tom Insel, Verily's director of clinical neuroscience, told CNBC. "We feel it's important to highlight two things: science offers us as a society tools to search for truth and avoid 'group think,' and that the U.S. federal investment in science is unique and important, and we feel we should actively encourage continued investment."

4. Smaller biotechs were not the only members of the drug industry voicing their support. Pfizer released a video saying, "Let's not imagine a world without science. Our scientists are the cornerstone of what we do. We're proud to stand behind the #ScienceMarch," according to the report.

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