BIO Applauds House and Senate for Reaching Deal on SBIR Reauthorization

By maureen
Created Dec 14 2011 – 10:33am

BIO Applauds House and Senate for Reaching Deal on SBIR Reauthorization
Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grants provide critical funding for the development of innovative medical therapies for Cancer, Diabetes and HIV

WASHINGTON, Dec 13, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) — The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) today praises the House and Senate for reaching a deal on Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Reauthorization as an Amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (HR 1540).

Yesterday, lawmakers announced that an agreement had been reached to reauthorize and amend the SBIR/Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program, which was set to expire on December 16th. House and Senate lawmakers agreed to amend and extend the program for another six years.

BIO President and CEO Jim Greenwood made the following statement today:

“BIO is pleased that an agreement has been reached to amend and extend the SBIR program. SBIR provides much needed funding for the development of innovative medical therapies for debilitating diseases including cancer, diabetes and HIV.

“In particular, BIO applauds House and Senate leadership, including Rep. Sam Graves (R-MO), Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-NY), Rep. Ralph Hall (R-TX), Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) and Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) and Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME) for their efforts in moving this measure forward.

“This measure allows companies that are majority-owned by multiple venture capital firms to compete for SBIR awards once again, which is critical for emerging biotechnology companies working on tomorrow’s breakthrough cures and treatments. Updating the SBIR program to address the current economic realities and capital formation challenges facing small, innovative American companies is necessary to ensure that these companies can once again compete for SBIR grants — based on the promise of their science rather than the structure of their capital.

“The importance of supporting continued advancements in science has never been more important as companies are struggling to recover from the economic crisis, and accelerate research, growth, and hiring. At the very earliest stages of development, alternate sources of financing, such as SBIR grants, have been instrumental in furthering research and development in biotechnology.

“BIO applauds the Congress on this important and timely agreement, and hopes that the Congress now moves this legislation forward as expeditiously as possible to help fulfill federal research and development goals of bringing cures and breakthrough medicines to the public.”

The role of the SBIR program in bringing breakthrough therapies to the American people is a matter of record. There are 252 FDA-approved biologics that have been developed by 163 companies. Thirty-two percent of those companies have received at least one SBIR/STTR award.

In recent months, at least 25 U.S. public biotech companies have either placed drug development programs on hold or cut programs all together. These programs include promising therapies for HIV, cervical cancer, Multiple Sclerosis, and diabetes.

For additional data and analysis on the U.S. biotechnology industry, please visit www.bio.org

About BIO

BIO represents more than 1,100 biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations across the United States and in more than 30 other nations. BIO members are involved in the research and development of innovative healthcare, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology products. BIO also produces the BIO International Convention, the world’s largest gathering of the biotechnology industry, along with industry-leading investor and partnering meetings held around the world. BIO produces BIOtech Now, an online portal and monthly newsletter chronicling “innovations transforming our world.” Subscribe to BIOtech Now.

Upcoming BIO Events

BIO Asia International Partnering Conference January 31 — February 1, 2012 Osaka, Japan

BIO CEO & Investor Conference February 13-14, 2012 New York, NY

World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology & Bioprocessing April 29-May 2, 2012 Orlando, FL

2012 BIO International Convention June 18-21, 2012 Boston, MA

SOURCE: Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO