2011: A pivotal year for biotechnology
As we look ahead to 2012, BIO will work for Congressional passage of the PDUFA package, and support legislative proposals that reflect the underlying principles of our five year plan. We also will continue to push for extending and expanding the Therapeutic Discovery Project (TDP) tax credit to provide critical R&D funding to emerging biotech companies. The TDP program, enacted in 2010, is an example of the type of policies necessary to spur continued medical innovation, while at the same time protecting and growing high-paying U.S. jobs. The TDP program provided $1 billion in research grants and credits for small biotech companies pursuing new therapies for diseases such as Alzheimer's, HIV/AIDs, Parkinson’s and MS.
Other BIO policy priorities include ensuring the National Institutes of Health have sufficient funding to sustain the public-private collaboration that is transforming biomedical discoveries into innovative treatments for patients. We also will work to ensure that Congress provides the FDA with the resources it needs to keep pace with rapidly evolving biomedical science and fulfill its vital health and safety mission. Working closely with our members, we will remain engaged as the Department of Health and Human Services moves to implement the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.In collaboration with our state affiliates, we will continue to work with state governments seeking to grow their biotech sectors as part of their economic development and job creation strategies.
Despite the challenging environment for capital formation, public policy and regulatory issues, our industry continues to make breathtaking scientific breakthroughs. Several key approvals in 2011 highlighted the scientific progress our sector is making, particularly in the areas of personalized medicine and companion diagnostics. BIO believes drugs approved with companion diagnostic tests are the next wave of medicine and will significantly improve patientoutcomes. This year alone, the FDA approved two new drugs that completely eliminate the hepatitis C virus from patients; one of the new drugs is from Merck and the other from Vertex.
The promise of biotechnology remains as strong as ever but there is much work to be done. At BIO, we will continue to engage with public policy leaders in Washington and throughout the world to fight for public policies that encourage innovation and enable our members to develop breakthrough technologies that save lives and transform our world.