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Texas Biotech Firms Receive More Than $35 Million in Federal Grants and Credits

AUSTIN, Texas, Nov. 4, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- One-hundred seventeen Texas biotechnology companies were awarded more than $35 million in federal tax credits and grants yesterday as part of the Qualifying Therapeutic Discovery Project Tax Credit Program administered by the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the National Institutes of Health.

"The Therapeutic Discovery Credit has provided Texas Life Science companies the ability to continue to invest resources into their ongoing research and development activities," said Tom Kowalski, President of the Texas Healthcare and Bioscience Institute (THBI).  "This comes in the form of equipment and personnel.  This tax credit provides a much needed shot in the arm for Texas Life Science Companies to help them weather the tight credit markets."  

The announcement of the awards was made yesterday in Washington, D.C. by Secretary of the Treasury Tim Geithner and Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius who were also joined by NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins to announce the recipients of the $1 billion in new therapeutic discovery project credits.

"These grants made possible by the Affordable Care Act will not only help to create jobs and bolster the economy but also bring us closer to the next generation of life-saving cures," said NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins.  "The projects funded show significant potential to create new therapies that will address unmet medical needs and bolster the medical countermeasure supply we use to respond to health emergencies."

A total of 2,923 companies specializing in biotechnology and medical research in 47 states and the District of Columbia received awards under the program.  In all, 4,606 applications from these nearly 3,000 companies were awarded funding.

The therapeutic discovery project program is targeted to projects that show significant potential to produce new therapies, address unmet medical needs, reduce the long-term growth of health care costs, or advance the goal of curing cancer within the next 30 years.  The allocation of the credit also reflects which projects show the greatest potential to create and sustain high-quality, high-paying jobs in the United States and to advance our competitiveness in the fields of life, biological, and medical sciences.  Today, the biotechnology industry employs 1.3 million workers, and the industry continues to be a key growth engine for the economy.

The credit covers up to 50 percent of the cost of qualifying biomedical research and is only available to firms with fewer than 250 employees.  To provide an immediate boost to U.S. biomedical research and the small businesses that conduct it, the credit is effective for investments made in 2009 and 2010.  Firms could opt to receive a grant instead of a tax credit, so start-ups that are not yet profitable can benefit as well.

In Texas, a total of 158 projects at 117 companies will receive over $35 million in funding through the program.  Several companies were awarded for multiple projects, with eleven being the highest number of awards given to a single company in Texas.

According to THBI, the Texas Life Science industry generates a significant economic impact in the State of Texas.  The total economic impact in Texas is estimated at $75 Billion in economic activity, 236,000 jobs and $31 Billion in payroll.  State and local governments receive and estimated $2 Billion each year due to these impacts.  

The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), supported by more than 40 state bioscience affiliate organizations, was instrumental in advocating for the program and is now encouraging policy-makers to renew the program for another year.  Jim Greenwood, president and CEO of BIO said, "We now call on Congress and the Administration to work together to extend and expand the Therapeutic Discovery Project to support continued American innovation and accelerate the development of life-saving cures."

To view the full list, click here.

The mission of the Texas Healthcare and Bioscience Institute is to research, develop, and advocate policies and actions that promote biomedical science, biotechnology, agriculture and medical device innovation in Texas.

SOURCE Texas Healthcare & Bioscience Institute
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