WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 11, 2006) – Thomas Bigger, president and CEO of Paratek Pharmaceuticals Inc., will testify Wednesday on behalf of the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) before a Senate committee regarding Small Business Innovation Research grants (SBIR).
The hearing, titled “Strengthening Participation of Small Businesses in Federal Contracting and Innovation Research Programs,” is being held by the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, July 12, in Room 428A of the Russell Senate Office Building.
Bigger will urge committee members to reverse the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) misguided interpretation of SBIR eligibility rules by supporting S.1263, the “Save America’s Biotechnology Innovation Research Act (SABIR Act).” Under the SBA’s misinterpretation, majority private equity-backed companies are not eligible for SBIR grants.
“These reforms are essential in providing the most innovative, early stage biotechnology companies with the opportunity to compete for and participate in the SBIR program. Without reform, we could seriously jeopardize America’s innovation leadership and competitiveness in the global biotech marketplace,” Bigger will testify.
Throughout the first 21 years of the program, majority private equity-backed companies were eligible to compete for SBIR grants. In January 2001, the SBA Office of Hearings and Appeals changed its interpretation of long-standing rules, therefore denying many biotechnology companies the opportunity to apply for important “seed” funding.
Paratek Pharmaceuticals Inc., a privately-held biopharmaceuticals company headquartered in Boston, is engaged in the discovery and commercialization of new therapeutics that treat serious and life-threatening infectious diseases. Paratek’s mission is to develop new antibiotic and anti-infective products that address the major worldwide problem of bacterial resistance and to pursue additional promising applications of the company’s technology into other disease areas such as inflammation.
BIO represents more than 1,100 biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations across the United States and 31 other nations. BIO members are involved in the research and development of healthcare, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology products.