BIO Lauds Passage by Congress of BARDA Legislation

WASHINGTON, D.C. (December 11, 2006) – Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) President & CEO Jim Greenwood issued the following statement regarding passage by the House early Saturday of S. 3678, the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act:

“This bill includes critical BARDA provisions and provisions to reauthorize bioterrorism grants and is a necessary step toward improving America’s defenses against bioterrorism and pandemic diseases. We thank Congress for passing this important legislation and sending it to the President for his signature.

“This legislation recognizes that the ‘Valley of Death’ remains a barrier to effective countermeasure product development, and 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. The bill also contains important contract reforms that improve upon the advances made under Project BioShield, by allowing, for example, milestone payments and surge capacity provisions to improve the viability and sustainability of biodefense product development and manufacture. Additionally, the bill provides strong funding levels and important provisions to permit competing companies to cooperatively respond to government-declared emergencies without violating antitrust laws.

“We thank Sens. Richard Burr (R-S.C.) and Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.), and Reps. Michael Rogers (R-Mich.), Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.), Joe Barton (R-Texas), and John Dingell (D-Mich.) for their efforts in passing this legislation.”

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.