Letter on Project BioShield Passage

The Honorable Judd Gregg

Chairman

Committee on Health, Education,

Labor and Pensions

United States Senate

Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Edward Kennedy

Ranking Member

Committee on Health, Education,

Labor and Pensions

United States Senate

Washington, DC 20510

Dear Senators:

On behalf of the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), an organization representing over 1,000 companies, universities, research institutions, state biotechnology associations and affiliates in all 50 states, I am writing to thank you for your leadership on S. 15, The Project BioShield Act of 2004, and for your continued commitment to this important issue.

BIO believes that enactment of Project BioShield is critical to address serious threats to our public health and national security. Specifically, by focusing resources on the creation of new biomedical countermeasures, this legislation will contribute to our nation's preparedness to respond to chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear attacks.

An underlying premise of this legislation is that our country will be successful in placing needed countermeasures on the shelf only if the government is able to engage the enthusiastic participation of leading companies in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry. Passage of S. 15 will help bring the needed private sector talent and investment into our nation's biodefense effort.

While The Project BioShield Act of 2004 is an important first step toward developing a viable biodefense industry in the Unites States, particularly with respect to the procurement of near-term products, future Bioshield legislation is needed to address liability and procurement issues that are not covered by this bill. BIO companies look forward to working with you and your colleagues on these continued efforts.

We thank you again for your commitment to strengthening America's biodefense.

Sincerely,

Carl B. Feldbaum

President

Biotechnology Industry Organization

cc: Majority Leader Bill Frist

Minority Leader Tom Daschle

CBF:jb