Federal Government Relations

The biotech industry has shrunk dramatically in recent years based primarily on the continued tight capital markets and increased aversion to risk on the part of investors.

On July 26, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced four new project areas for the Biomass Crop Assistance Program.

A strong Network will bolster public awareness of the industry and encourage more investment dollars.

Society has tapped just a small fraction of the many potential uses and benefits of biotechnology.

BIO and five member companies – Mendel Biotechnology, Arborgen, Abengoa Bioenergy, Novozymes and BP Biofuels – along with the Biomass Power Association held a briefing on Capitol Hill this week, outlining the importance of the USDA’s Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP) and related programs. Regulatory rules for the BCAP, Biorefinery Assistance Program, and Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) were finalized by USDA only during the last quarter of 2010. But Congress is considering cutting the funds for these programs before they have a chance to show their effectiveness.

To carry out military and humanitarian missions around the world, U.S. forces require reliable fuel supplies and secure supply lines. At the micro level, the military is as much at the mercy of high oil and gasoline prices as the average consumer. In addition, when you calculate the fully burdened cost of fuels, for instance a gallon of jet fuel delivered to the front lines in Afghanistan, it can be upwards of $400 per gallon. And, on a macro level, oil often comes from regions of the world that are not U.S. military allies. The need for great energy independence is therefore a very important national security issue.

BIO released a white paper on the growth and jobs potential of green chemicals.

The advanced biofuel industry can reduce reliance on oil and create green jobs; diverse federal programs are necessary to help producers secure financing for construction of projects. The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) today joined 34 other companies and trade associations to ask leaders of the House Ways and Means Committee to include the language of H.R. 5142, the Grow a Renewable Energy Economy Now – Jumpstart Other Biofuels (GREEN JOB) Act of 2010, in the next appropriate revenue vehicle considered by the House.

The federal Renewable Fuel Standard provides the stable policy essential to attracting private investment to the development of advanced biofuels. The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) today joined the Advanced BioFuel Association, the Renewable Fuel Association, the Advanced Ethanol Council and the American Coalition for Ethanol in a letter to leaders of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works urging protection of the federal RFS.

The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) today thanked Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Energy Secretary Steven Chu on the announcement of Biomass Research And Development Initiative grants and the establishment of a Biomass Crop Assistance Plan project area. BIO congratulated member companies Cellana LLC of Hawaii and Metabolix Inc. of Massachusetts on receiving awarded grants.

Emerging biotech companies with promising scientific innovation need a policy environment that will enable them to continue critical research and development of medical advancements and breakthroughs.

You might have heard that the Prince of Wales, just days after hosting the Royal Wedding, paid us a visit here in Washington.  Prince Charles, a long-time organic food advocate and self-described environmentalist, was here to speak at a Washington Post symposium on the Future of Food.

Recently introduced legislation could help the military become the technology leader in scaling up commercial production of sustainable biofuels, such as algae.

April 29 2014
Chairperson Mikulski, Ranking Member Shelby, Members of the Committee, thank you for the opportunity to provide you with written testimony on the extremely important topic of driving innovation through federal investments.
March 27 2014
February 25, 2013     Marilyn Tavenner, B.S.N., M.H.A. Administrator Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Room 445–G, Hubert H. Humphrey Building 200 Independence Avenue, SW Washington, DC 20201   Re: Draft 2015 Letter to Issuers on Federally-facilitated Marketplaces   Dear Ms. Tavenner:             The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) is pleased to submit the following comments on the draft letter related to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) health insurance Marketplaces that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued on February 4, 2014, entitled “Draft 2015 Letter to Issuers on Federally-facilitated Marketplaces” (the “Draft Letter”).[1]             BIO represents more than 1,000 biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers, and related organizations across the United States and in more than 30 other nations. BIO's members develop medical products and technologies to treat patients afflicted with serious diseases, to delay the onset of these diseases, or to prevent them in the first place. In that way, our members’ novel therapeutics, vaccines, and diagnostics not only have improved health outcomes, including productivity and quality of life, but also have reduced health care expenditures due to fewer physician office visits, hospitalizations, and surgical interventions. [1] Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight (CCIIO), Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), Draft 2015 Letter to Issuers in the Federally-facilitated Marketplaces (FFM) (Feb. 4, 2014). Available at: http://www.cms.gov/CCIIO/Resources/Regulations-and-Guidance/Downloads/draft-issuer-letter-2-4-2014.pdf (hereinafter “Draft Letter to Issuers”).   
March 27 2014
VIA ELECTRONIC SUBMISSION   March 1, 2014     Patrick Conway, M.D. Deputy Administrator for Innovation and Quality Chief Medical Officer Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation 7500 Security Boulevard Baltimore, MD 21244   RE: Request for Information: Evolution of ACO Initiatives at CMS   Dear Dr. Conway:   The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) is pleased to submit the following comments regarding the Request for Information (RFI) on the “Evolution of ACO Initiatives at CMS” released by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) on December 20, 2013.[1]  BIO represents more than 1,000 biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers, and related organizations across the United States and in more than 30 other nations.  BIO’s members develop medical products and technologies to treat patients afflicted with serious diseases, to delay the onset of these diseases, or to prevent them in the first place.  In that way, our members’ novel therapeutics, vaccines, and diagnostics not only have improved health outcomes, but also have reduced healthcare expenditures due to fewer physician office visits, hospitalizations, and surgical interventions. [1]           Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, Request for Information: Evolution of ACO Initiatives at CMS (Dec. 20, 2013), available at: http://innovation.cms.gov/Files/x/Pioneer-RFI.pdf.   
December 18 2012
BIO President and CEO Jim Greenwood wrote a letter in support of H.R. 6672, the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Reauthorization Act (PAHPRA) of 2012, sponsored and championed by Chairman Mike Rogers (R-MI).
October 18 2012
A keynote Address by James C. Greenwood, President & CEO of BIO, to RETECH 2012 in Washington, DC on October 18, 2012.
April 9 2014
Consumer-focused legislation will enhance transparency and advance food safety Washington, D.C. (April 9, 2014) – The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), applauds today’s introduction of the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act, which would establish a federal standard for the safety and labeling of food and beverage products made with genetically modified ingredients (GMOs).
March 11 2014
BIO commended the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) for announcing their decision to halt movement on several proposals in their Medicare Part D draft rule.
February 12 2014
Bill would spur capital formation for small public companies
October 28 2013
BIO responds to a Senators letter to FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, regarding naming standards for biosimilars - drugs that are similar to, but not the same as the innovator drugs they seek to replicate.
July 29 2013
BIO released a statement in support of the FDA Safety Over Sequestration Act (H.R. 2725), which would exempt user fees, including those paid by BIO member companies, from the operation of sequestration.