Therapeutic Discovery Project Saves Research That Can Save Lives

Jim's Corner

This morning,U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced the awardees of the Therapeutic Discovery Project (TDP). The TDP makes available a tax credit to companies with 250 employees or fewer and covers up to 50 percent of qualified investments in projects aimed at creating new therapies, reducing long-term health care costs, or significantly advancing the goal of curing cancer within the next 30 years.  BIO was a strong advocate for the TDP.

Congratulations to the companies that received a Therapeutic Discovery Project award. These companies represent the promise America’s biotechnology community offers for the hope of new medicines and cures and the growth of high-quality, high-wage jobs here at home – more jobs for Americans, more cures for patients around the world.  Thanks to key leadership in the Administration and both the House and Senate, the TDP will save cutting-edge research that can save lives.  More, the TDP will enable small companies to preserve existing jobs and create new jobs, while maintaining U.S. leadership in biotech innovation.

Over the years, I have seen first-hand the impact advanced new therapies have on real people –as a Member of Congress, as head of the Biotechnology Industry Organization, and as someone with friends and loved ones impacted by serious diseases.  For millions of people and their families, biotech innovations offer hope for a better life.  It is this hope that makes me excited to go to work every day.

Today, I am proud to share how award recipients across the country  are expanding their research and undertaking new projects.  Awards are being used to develop new research platforms and treatments for various forms of cancers, metabolic diseases, autoimmune diseases, liver disease, Multiple Sclerosis, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury and much more.

Two BIO member CEOs– Donald P. Beeman, CEO of Ligocyte Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and Russell Herndon, president and CEO, Hydra Biosciences, Inc. — joined Geithner and Sebelius, and National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins as they discussed the TDP and its potential to help both patients and American biotechnology companies.  Bozeman, Mont.-based Ligocyte Pharmaceuticals focuses on vaccines for respiratory infections and influenza, as well as gastrointestinal conditions.  Cambridge, Mass.-based Hydra Biosciences develops novel drugs to treat pain, inflammation, cardiovascular and other diseases using its expertise in novel ion channels. These two emerging biotechnology companies embody so much of the promise this sector has for addressing unmet medical needs, leading American innovation and creating jobs in this economy.

I hope this event will be a good starting point of a longer discussion on how best to expand and extend the Therapeutic Discovery Program.  BIO will advocate strongly before the new Congress and the Administration to extend and expand the TDP– the next breakthrough drug may be right around the corner.

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