Representative Melissa Hart Named BIO Legislator of the Year

WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 15, 2006) -- The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) has named Congresswoman Melissa A. Hart (R, PA-4) as a “Legislator of the Year” for 2005-2006.

“BIO commends Representative Melissa Hart as a champion of the biotechnology industry,” BIO President and CEO Jim Greenwood stated.  “We appreciate her leadership as author of legislation to remove Net Operating Loss limitations which stifle biotechnology research and development.  This legislation is crucial to emerging biotechnology companies, in Pennsylvania and throughout the country, that require large amounts of capitals over many years in order to research, discover, and deliver lifesaving therapies to the patients who need them.”

Congresswoman Hart was honored with the BIO Legislator of the Year award this morning prior to addressing biotechnology industry representatives from 35 states, including Pennsylvania.

"Pennsylvania Bio applauds Congresswoman Hart's consistent support of our industry, which is so important to the commonwealth's economy as well as to improving healthcare," said Pennsylvania Bio President Dennis M. "Mickey" Flynn. "To continue Pennsylvania's leadership in the biosciences, the support of our policymakers is critical, and we have a great champion in Melissa Hart.  She clearly understands what our growing companies need to succeed and compete."

More than 200 biotechnology industry representatives from 35 states, including Pennsylvania, will participate in nearly 300 meetings with key members of the House and Senate today as part of the BIO Legislative Day event.  Participants will discuss issues critical to the biotechnology industry, including patent rights, the risk of drug importation, the Small Business Innovation Research program, and science-based standards for adventitious presence.

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.