BIO Commends Ohio Governor for Advancing Stem Cell Research

WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 1, 2005) – Patrick Kelly, vice president of state government relations of the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), commended Ohio Governor Bob Taft for his leadership on state funding for stem cell research.

This week, Governor Taft signed the state's $51.25 billion, two-year state budget bill. He exercised his line-item veto authority on 27 provisions, including striking a provision from the bill that would have restricted state funding of embryonic stem cell research. The provision in the bill would have prohibited the use of 'Third Frontier’ initiative funds on any type of embryonic stem cell research, including those lines approved by the federal government.

“Governor Taft’s visionary leadership on Ohio's 'Third Frontier' initiative proves that he is committed to encouraging high-tech innovation and the jobs it creates. By striking a provision in the budget bill that would have prohibited funding for approved stem cell lines, the governor stands by his commitment to bolster life science research in the state,” Kelly stated. “While stem cell research is in an early stage, this technology has the potential to provide new therapies for diabetes, heart disease, spinal cord injuries and a host of other disabling and deadly conditions.”

Governor Taft, as well as Governors Jeb Bush (FL), Robert Ehrlich (MD), Ernie Fletcher (KY), Ruth Ann Minner (DE), Ed Rendell (PA), Mitt Romney (MA), and Anibal Acevedo-Vila (Puerto Rico), attended the BIO 2005 Annual International Convention held last week in Philadelphia. More than 18,000 attendees from all 50 states and more than 60 foreign countries attended the 4-day conference. Gov. Taft toured the more than 1,000-booth exhibit hall and met with bioscience executives at the Ohio pavilion.

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.