The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), a trade association representing biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations across the U.S. and in more than 30 other nations, has issued a statement in response to President Obama's State of the Union speech.
Jim Greenwood, BIO president and CEO, said, "Having long advocated a large scale genomics project to help understand the basis of chronic disease, I was pleased to hear President Obama's words about its promise, and look forward to working with the NIH and chairman Fred Upton, congresswoman Diana DeGette and members of the Energy and Commerce Committee through the 21st Century Cures Initiative and the Senate to develop a study that can revolutionize our understanding of disease.”
"A large-scale national research commitment to chronic conditions would identify precursors and early signs of disease or disease risk to unlock the root causes of these conditions that threaten the health of our loved ones and undermine our nation's fiscal health,” said Greenwood. “Our hopes for cures hinge on understanding how to intervene to halt the progress of disease. A critical feature of such an effort is allowing access to study data by researchers in academia, government and the biopharma industry.”
Greenwood continued, "Biopharma researchers are committed to developing the next generation of modern medicines to transform patient care. The urgency of finding and developing 21st Century Cures cannot be overstated. Biotech holds the greatest promise for finding a cure. Precision medicine—finding the right treatment for the right patient at the right time—can help maximize clinical benefit while reducing the risk of side effects.
"The President also urged reforming the U.S. tax code,” said Greenwood. “We support a tax code that recognizes innovation as a crucial part of the 21st century American economy and helps the U.S. compete more effectively in the global economy. Comprehensive tax reform should lower corporate tax rates, while moving to a territorial system of taxation. Yet comprehensive tax reform should go further to support growth and innovation in biotech companies, most of which are pre-revenue. Furthermore, we will fight to protect the Orphan Drug Tax Credit, which has been instrumental in encouraging innovation into new cures and treatments for rare diseases."