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Bioscience Group Warns Policymakers Against Complacency
Date:1/10/2008

Despite extraordinary growth, life sciences industry faces a host of policy

challenges that threaten its viability in California and nationally

SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- BayBio released today the flagship industry study, BayBio:IMPACT 2008, providing a broad overview of the productivity of Northern California's life sciences industry -- the most productive life science research cluster in the world. To ensure continued growth and address current barriers, BayBio calls for civic leaders and policymakers to take immediate action.

Northern California currently markets 408 innovative life-saving drugs and technologies, housing one-third of the U.S. life sciences industry. The region continues to deliver novel approaches to virtually all diseases, especially epidemics such as diabetes, obesity, infectious disease and cancer. Additionally, Northern California's life sciences industry has pioneered the path for other hubs, providing key insight based on its own unique experience and leading the way to personalized medicine becoming a reality.

BayBio:IMPACT 2008 Key Statistics

-- 408 marketed products, 492 products in Phase II and Phase III clinical

trials, up 25 percent over 2007

-- 90,000 employees, accounting for more than $6 billion in payroll

-- Estimated new jobs created in the past 12 months: 6,000

-- 1,377 biotech companies in Northern California

-- Collective market capitalization: $144 billion

-- Average time for FDA approval of a new drug: 14 years

-- Average cost for development of a new drug: $800 million

"Devices, diagnostics and therapies developed in Northern California are in clinics everywhere, making an enormous impact on people's lives across the globe. With every single product, we are reminded that this is the most cutting-edge industry of all," said Matt Gardner, BayBio President. "Yet, we still face many hurdles, and complacency among policymakers is dangerous. In order to ensure success, we need action."

Proposed Legislative Action

Numerous challenges threaten the success of the biotech industry, and thoughtful, proactive steps must be taken to protect the industry's ability to turn scientific discoveries into life-saving therapies. These priority actions, as identified by BayBio should include:
-- Increase the National Institutes of Health and National Science

Foundation budgets by 5% or more each year

-- Enact patent reform legislation that maintains and protects American

leadership in the life sciences

-- Invest in more people and technology at the two most critical agencies

with oversight over the life sciences industry -- the U.S. Food and

Drug Administration and U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

"Twenty-first century medicine requires 21st century legislation and regulation, and BayBio is committed to that end," said Gardner. "We have hundreds of products in development, but our industry has no assurance of success, since there is much more yet to be done. We look forward to working with our members, investors and public officials to continue bringing a robust pipeline of therapies to the patients who need them."

BayBio:IMPACT 2008 serves as a reference for critical debates of state and national interest, including economic competitiveness and healthcare reform.

"At a time of extraordinary industry growth, the biotech industry faces a host of policy challenges that threaten its future growth and sustainability," said Paul Hastings, President and CEO of OncoMed Pharmaceuticals. "Now is the time to engage leading policymakers, executives, researchers and advocates to take important actions to ensure that the innovations of this industry will continue to have a sustained positive impact on people's lives for years to come."

Over the course of 2008, BayBio will continue to approach public leaders and invite them to experience first hand what businesses in the life sciences industry do. Findings from BayBio:IMPACT 2008 will be released at launch events starting today in San Francisco and following in Sacramento and Washington D.C. Industry representatives and policymakers will be in attendance with keynote speeches from leading biotech executives.

About BayBio

As the life sciences association in Northern California, BayBio serves the region's 1,377 life sciences companies, as well as research institutes, universities and public officials at all levels of government that are engaged in or supportive of research, development and commercialization of life science products. BayBio supports the regional life sciences community through advocacy, education and networking about the impact of the biotech industry on the community.

Built by the founders of biotechnology, BayBio was established in 1990 by a consortium of universities, public officials, educators and bioscience executives to foster a regional climate that nourishes the bioscience life cycle. In 2006, BayBio divided its activities into two organizations: BayBio and the BayBio Institute. BayBio focuses on improvement of business conditions in the industry and advocacy as a trade association, and the BayBio Institute focuses on life science educational efforts in Northern California. For more information about BayBio or to view the BayBio:IMPACT 2008 study, visit http://www.baybio.org.


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SOURCE BayBio
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