BIO Statement on Senate Committee's Approval of the Nomination of von Eschenbach as FDA Commissioner

WASHINGTON, D.C. (September 20, 2006) -- Jim Greenwood, president of the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), issued the following statement on the approval by the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions of the nomination of Andrew von Eschenbach, M.D., as commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA):

“Dr. Andrew von Eschenbach is an outstanding choice to serve as commissioner of the FDA. He will provide strong, certain leadership to this critical agency that protects our nation’s public health.

“Dr. von Eschenbach’s experience as a cancer surgeon and his leadership as director of the National Cancer Institute afford him unique insights into the critical need to advance new treatments for patients with life-threatening illnesses. As a teacher and academician, he appreciates the importance of education and research in achieving scientific breakthroughs.

“As I said a year ago when President Bush nominated Dr. von Eschenbach, the country needs a confirmed FDA commissioner to ensure this agency is credible, predictable, and effective in protecting the public health.

“I urge the Senate to act on the Committee’s recommendation to confirm Dr. von Eschenbach prior to adjourning. This confirmation will be a vital step forward in strengthening the FDA to allow it to better accomplish its mission of getting safe and effective products into the hands of patients and other consumers while assuring public confidence in these products.”

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.