Happy Birthday, Bayh-Dole!

February 20, 2020
What did you think of last night’s debate in Nevada? Did Bloomberg kill it—or did Warren kill his campaign? Tweet us your thoughts at @IAmBIOtech. (And if you missed it, here are some takeaways from the AP.)  In the meantime, here are about 800 words (4 minutes) on…

What did you think of last night’s debate in Nevada? Did Bloomberg kill it—or did Warren kill his campaign? Tweet us your thoughts at @IAmBIOtech. (And if you missed it, here are some takeaways from the AP.) 

In the meantime, here are about 800 words (4 minutes) on the outlook for Bayh-Dole and new cures and the outlook for the bioeconomy.

Happy Birthday, Bayh-Dole!

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Bayh-Dole Act, which has empowered researchers and encouraged investment in new cures—but the intended purpose is being undermined by misguided policy proposals and rhetoric about drug pricing.

The legislation: The bipartisan University & Small Business Patent Procedures Act of 1980 is more commonly known as the Bayh-Dole Act for sponsors Sens. Birch Bayh (D-IN) and Bob Dole (R-KS).

At a glance, it...

  • Empowers universities, small businesses and non-profit institutions to take ownership of inventions made during federally funded research, so they can license these basic inventions for further applied research and development and broader public use.

  • Encourages private-sector investment needed to turn basic government-funded biomedical research into tested and approved products, requires these products to be manufactured domestically and ensures royalties for universities to further advance basic research and education.

  • Allows the federal government to “march in” under limited circumstances if a licensed invention is not being made available for public use, or during public health or other national emergencies.

And it’s led to big results. Bayh-Dole has bolstered U.S. economic output by $1.3 trillion, supported 4.2 million jobs, and helped lead to more than 11,000 start-ups—as well as more than 200 new medical therapies.

This is why we’ve joined Bayh-Dole 40, a coalition to celebrate and protect the legislation and the innovation it’s supported. 

What they’re saying: “Bayh-Dole made the United States the engine of global innovation,” said Bayh-Dole 40 founder and executive director Joseph Allen, who helped enact the law as a member of Senator Birch Bayh’s U.S. Senate Judiciary staff. “The Act reinvigorated research and development in America, spawning breakthrough discoveries ranging from high-yield crops to advanced medicines.”

For more information on Bayh-Dole and why it matters, visit bayhdole40.org or check out our infographic.


More Health Care News: 

MarketWatch: As Democratic candidates debate Obamacare and Medicare for All, Americans say their biggest concerns are cutting health care and drug costs
“New polling taken in the runup to the Democratic presidential primary debate on Wednesday night suggests that Americans are listening to what the candidates say about health care.” 

BioCentury: The Phase III trials and pharma sales most likely to be disrupted by COVID-19
“The coronavirus outbreak comes at a time when many major multinational pharmas are betting big on the China market for future growth.”

STAT: The coronavirus is prompting a burst of clinical trials in search of a treatment
“As of Wednesday, 124 studies have either commenced or are expected to do so shortly, with all but three taking place in China.”


It's a new day for biotech


This week, researchers said oil and gas release even more greenhouse gas emissions than we thought, while a new poll found climate change is a big priority among voters, especially Democrats.

Clearly, we need solutions to tackle challenges like greenhouse emissions and warming temperatures, plastic waste, and the sustainability of our food supply, to name a few.

Luckily, the bioeconomy offers many—if policy allows them to thrive, writes Stephanie Batchelor, BIO’s VP of Industrial & Environmental Section, in the Industrial Biotechnology Journal.

It’s bio’s time to shine… “The opportunity to grow the bioeconomy is greater than it’s ever been,” she writes, citing innovations ranging from sustainable fuels and bioplastics to “food and farm innovations, like novel food ingredients and gene-edited crops.”

And BIO’s time to shine. “For two decades, the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) has provided the regulatory support to enable these innovations to come to life,” Stephanie says. “But as we embark on new opportunities to advance the technologies that make up the bioeconomy, BIO will better leverage the synergies that exist between industrial biotechnology and food and agriculture to support innovation.” 

BIO’s helping companies navigate the legislative and regulatory environment, so innovators can bring their products to market and have more certainty about the future.

And we’re putting special focus on biofuels, which are key to reducing greenhouse gas emissions—but have been “undermined as a result of reckless decisions by the administration to expand waivers to refiners and delay approvals of new technologies.” 

And we’re not relenting on low-carbon fuel policies—working at the federal and state level to advance biofuels and other biobased products, she explains. 

Where can I read more? Stephanie will pen a bimonthly series in the Industrial Biotechnology Journal, the first and longest-running peer-reviewed journal covering the emerging global bioeconomy, including biobased production of energy and fuels, chemicals, materials, and consumer goods.

Read more and subscribe to the journal.

BIO Beltway Report

President Trump’s Thursday: After visiting the LVMPD, he’s heading to Colorado Springs for a campaign rally.

What’s Happening on Capitol Hill: The House and Senate are still in recess.

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