WASHINGTON, D.C. (October 2, 2009) – An amendment offered by Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) was adopted by the Senate Finance Committee early this morning that would create a tax credit to encourage investments in new breakthrough medical therapies to prevent, diagnose, and treat acute and chronic diseases.
BIO President and CEO Jim Greenwood applauded the commitment of Sen. Menendez and Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT), as well as amendment co-sponsors Sens. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and John Kerry (D-MA), to supporting cutting-edge biomedical research in the following statement:
“Senator Menendez’s amendment will advance the key goal of healthcare reform: that all Americans have access to quality healthcare, including innovative, high-quality therapies. Pioneering, research-intensive small businesses would gain critical support through this amendment to continue their cutting-edge projects to develop advanced medicines and, ultimately, cures for the world’s most debilitating diseases.
“I congratulate Senator Menendez and Chairman Baucus, as well as Senators Cantwell and Kerry, for their foresight to ensure America’s biotech companies have the crucial support they need during these difficult times. Their leadership will help countless patients access advanced medical treatments. Indeed, this amendment is supported by a diverse array of patient advocacy organizations – such as the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Easter Seals, and the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation – who praise the proposal for encouraging ‘investment in new therapies to prevent, diagnose and treat acute and chronic diseases.’
“Emerging research-intensive biotech companies have to raise hundreds of millions of dollars during a decade-long period to bring new treatments to the market for H1N1 (swine flu), cancer, Alzheimer’s, and many other unmet medical needs. Due to the current financial crisis, for two years, biotech companies have faced dramatic challenges accessing the necessary capital to fund on-going research and development of promising therapies. As a result, many companies are being forced to delay or abandon promising research projects.
“The future of the American economy depends on critical investments in one of America’s core strengths: the development of advanced medical treatments and breakthroughs. However, our global leadership faces increasingly rigorous global competition, and unprecedented conditions in the capital markets. Emerging biotech companies play a key part of the 21st century, innovation economy – providing high-wage, high-value jobs across the nation, while making the U.S. the world leader in advancing research and development in new treatments and cures.
The amendment would reimburse small biotechnology companies with 250 employees or less for a portion of their therapeutic development activities, including hiring scientists and conducting clinical studies, that will help ensure that our healthcare system does not lose the benefit of the most promising medical breakthroughs to treat diseases and potential global pandemics.
“I applaud Senator Menendez’s vision to develop this tax credit. Many New Jersey companies, like Tobira, are developing innovative new therapies and medicines for patients with debilitating diseases, said James Sapirstein, CEO and President of Tobira Therapeutics, based in Princeton, N.J. “Patients – like those with HIV that Tobira seeks to help – will be the ultimate beneficiaries of this provision.”
Upcoming BIO Events
BIO Investor Forum
October 28-29, 2009
San Francisco, CA
Advanced Business Development Course
October 30, 2009
BIO Europe International Partnering Conference
November 2-4, 2009
Pacific Rim Summit on Industrial Biotechnology and Bioenergy
November 8-11, 2009
BIO represents more than 1,200 biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations across the United States and in more than 30 other nations. BIO members are involved in the research and development of innovative healthcare, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology products. BIO also produces the BIO International Convention, the world’s largest gathering of the biotechnology industry, along with industry-leading investor and partnering meetings held around the world.