Therapeutic Discovery Project: 7 Companies, 1 Year Later

Each day in labs across the country, biotech researchers uncover scientific discoveries that could lead to the next medical breakthrough that provides a treatment or cure for a debilitating and devastating disease, such as cancers, mental illnesses, heart disease and Parkinson’s disease.

Supporting American biotech moves America closer to these breakthrough therapies and lowers overall health care costs.  Research and development are the foundation of medical discoveries and support for R&D has hastened medical discoveries and cures that otherwise would have been delayed or not possible.

In 2010, the Therapeutic Discovery Project (TDP) awarded $1 billion in tax credits to nearly 3,000 small biotechnology companies across the country to accelerate discovery of promising, cutting-edge therapies.

The project provided $1 billion in support and that level of resources simply cannot meet the needs of the growing biotech field.  Below are examples from companies that received TDP awards.

Health Diagnostic Laboratory, Inc., (HDL) a clinical diagnostic laboratory based in Richmond, Virginia, received two awards totaling $488,000 for High Density Lipoprotein Associated Apolipoprotein E Quantitation as well as for "Vitamin and Mineral Testing for Nutritional Status. Since winning the grants, the company has been growing at 5% per week and has added more than fifty new employees with average salaries in excess of $60,000 per year.

Hydra Biosciences in Cambridge, Mass., received nearly $750,000 to develop novel compounds to treat pain, inflammation, and pulmonary diseases using its expertise in Transient Receptor Potential Ion Channels.

Richmond, Virginia-based Intelliject, Inc., a pharmaceutical company that develops drug/device combination products using a novel patient-centric product development process, was awarded nearly a quarter million dollars in tax credits for its Auto-Injector for Epinephrine and Other Therapeutic Drugs project.  Since receiving the credit, Intelliject has been granted tentative FDA approval for its lead drug/device combination product.

LigoCyte Pharmaceuticals, based in Bozeman, Montana, received nearly $500,000 to develop vaccines to prevent norovirus gastroenteritis, and RSV illness, a respiratory virus.

OncoMed Pharmaceuticals Inc., in Redwood City, California, received nearly $1.2 million to work on five anti-cancer stem cell therapeutics programs.

PTC Therapeutics, Inc. is a private biopharmaceutical company located in South Plainfield, New Jersey and is focused on the discovery and development of oral therapeutics for serious and life threatening disorders. PTC received approx $2.5M in tax credits which has been used towards the advancement of its programs in rare neuromuscular disorders, oncology and infectious diseases.

South San Francisco-based Theravance, Inc. received nearly $2.7 million for 11 projects related to heart failure, hypertension, Alzheimer’s, opioid-induced constipation, Hepatitis C and chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (COPD).

Leaders of American biotech companies say that the TDP will help them sustain or create high quality jobs by providing capital assistance that supports their research and work force.  Four out of five CEOs say the TDP is crucial to the survivability and viability of their companies, according to a BIO Industry Analysis survey. TDP funds helped to create an average six jobs and sustain seven jobs per company.

Additionally, the TDP helps the U.S. maintain its competitive edge in the global bioscience economy, helping to drive innovation and maintain a strong workforce at home.

Congress should consider extending or expanding the project for its second year in order to support more American innovation and speed the development of life saving cures.

Representatives Susan A. Davis (D-CA) and Allyson Y. Schwartz (D-PA) introduced the Qualifying Therapeutic Discovery Project Tax Credit Extension Act of 2011 (H.R. 1988) to extend the TDP.

The Davis-Schwartz bill provides a $1 billion credit for each fiscal year 2011 through 2017 and allows the program’s qualified investments from 2009 through 2015. BIO strongly encourages the Congress to consider this important and timely legislation.