If the biotech industry can't create some merger and acquisition activity now - when the equity markets are sending a clear signal that the funding window has been nailed shut - perhaps it never will.

By now, everyone knows that biotech stock trading was simply horrible in the third quarter, with the BioCentury 100 Price Level index falling another 8 percent. The sector is now down 15 percent in 1998, and 28 percent below its level a year ago.