BIO Applauds Passage of BARDA Bill

WASHINGTON, D.C. (September 22, 2006) -- Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) President and CEO Jim Greenwood issued the following statement regarding passage earlier this week of the ‘‘Biodefense and Pandemic Vaccine and Drug Development Act of 2006’’ (H.R. 5533) out of the House Energy and Commerce Committee:

“This week’s action by the House Energy and Commerce Committee passing the ‘BARDA’ bill is an important and necessary step forward toward improving our nation’s defenses against bioterrorism and pandemic diseases.  I particularly appreciate the leadership of the bill’s sponsors, Rep. Mike Rogers and Rep. Anna Eshoo for their stewardship on this very important matter.

“Importantly, this legislation recognizes that the ‘Valley of Death’ remains a barrier to effective countermeasure product development, so it authorizes the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) within the Department of Health and Human Services.  Through BARDA, contracts and grants for advanced research and development will be made to companies working on products to protect the American people.  This legislation is needed to foster countermeasure product development.

“We urge the Congress to pass this important legislation quickly to help protect the American public.”

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.