Rep. Mike Castle Named BIO Legislator of the Year

WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 20, 2005) -- The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) has named Representative Mike Castle (R, DE) as a “Legislator of the Year” for 2004-2005.

“It was my great honor to work with Mike Castle to safeguard cutting-edge research using stem cells and somatic cell nuclear transfer.  And I am grateful that he will champion these issues again in the 109th Congress.  Stem cell research, supported by the majority of Americans, has the potential to provide valuable therapies for diabetes, heart disease, spinal cord injuries, and many other disabling and life-threatening conditions,” BIO President Jim Greenwood stated.  “BIO commends Representative Castle for his leadership on these issues and his strong support for biotechnology.”

Congressman Castle was honored at a luncheon today at the Reserve Officers Association by more than 200 biotechnology industry representatives from 33 states.  Key executives from Delaware biotechnology firms AstraZeneca and Dupont will be among the attendees.

“Congressman Castle clearly recognizes the importance of biotechnology. His leadership on stem cell research has brought focus on an important opportunity to treat diseases once thought untreatable,” stated Dr. David S. Weir, Director of the Delaware Biotechnology Institute.  “Here in Delaware the Congressman has been a tireless proponent of the Delaware Biotechnology Institute and our state's focus on life science research, education and economic growth.”

The industry representatives will participate in more than 300 meetings with key members of the House and Senate today as part of the BIO Legislative Day event.  Participants will discuss the critical issues facing the biotechnology industry, including drug safety, Medicare reimbursement, tax and capital formation, and reducing trade barriers for American farmers.

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.