Statement by BIO President & CEO Jim Greenwood on New Acting FDA Commissioner Dr. Andrew von Eschenbach

WASHINGTON, D.C. (September 23, 2005) -- The Hon. James C. Greenwood, president and CEO of the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), released the following statement regarding today’s announcement that Dr. Andrew von Eschenbach has been named acting commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

“Dr. Andrew von Eschenbach is an excellent choice to serve as Acting FDA Commissioner. He will be able to provide strong, certain leadership to a critical agency that protects our nation’s public health.

“Dr. von Eschenbach’s role as the Director of the National Cancer Institute affords him unique insights into the critical need to advance new treatments for patients with life-threatening illnesses. As a teacher and academician, he understands the importance of education and research to reach these scientific breakthroughs. Also, through his work with the American Cancer Society, he knows the vital role that patient advocates provide in advancing medical research.

“In order to provide safe and effective therapies for patients and new, more healthful foods for consumers, the biotechnology industry needs a FDA that is credible and predictable.

“I applaud President Bush for moving so promptly to name Dr. von Eschenbach to this critical role. BIO’s staff and our member companies look forward to working with Dr. von Eschenbach.”

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.