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MichBio Announces Formation of Biotechnology Legislative Caucus

ANN ARBOR, Mich., Oct. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- MichBio, the statewide trade association for Michigan's life sciences industry, announced the formation of a new Biotechnology Legislative Caucus during its annual Expo & Conference being held in Lansing Oct. 16-17.

"MichBio very much looks forward to working with the Biotechnology Legislative Caucus (BLC) to bring the life sciences community closer to the legislative process," said Stephen T. Rapundalo, Ph.D., MichBio executive director. "In so doing we believe that we can ultimately impact policies and programs to benefit the state's life sciences industry and help make Michigan a leader in this market sector." MichBio and its Public Policy Committee will serve in an advisory and facilitator capacity to assist the BLC in its educational efforts.

The Biotechnology Legislative Caucus is a bipartisan, bicameral body whose membership is open to any interested legislators. The BLC's leadership group includes Reps. Hildenbrand (R-Lowell), Huizenga (R-Zeeland), Jones (D-Kalamazoo), and Warren (D-Ann Arbor), along with Sens. Hunter (D-Detroit), Richardville (R-Monroe), Stamas (R-Midland) and Whitmer (D-Lansing). They represent diversity in geography, and in large part reflect the distribution of key research and commercial hubs in biotechnology and life sciences around the State of Michigan.

"The Caucus wants to contribute to a business and regulatory climate in Michigan that will help maintain and enhance the state's stake in biotechnology," said Sen. Richardville, who will chair the BLC. "We want input from the industry on such possible needs as tax incentives, funding, workforce development, incubators and facilities, and what business and academia deem necessary in order for them to grow a successful life sciences cluster."

The BLC is committed to the growth and continued success of the life science industry in Michigan. It acknowledges the significant economic value of the industry and the complexity of issues facing the life sciences community. Furthermore, the BLC recognizes communication, outreach and education as the tools to promote, discuss, and formulate potential legislative initiatives in a forum that presents information in a balanced and factual manner. This should open an important dialogue between policymakers, the industry and public.

MichBio is the statewide trade association committed to building Michigan's life science industry into a growth engine that will drive a revitalized economy. Its members are life sciences companies, academic and research institutions, bioscience service providers, and related organizations. MichBio is dedicated to fostering their collective impact by connecting its members with the essential resources, including goods, services, educational and networking programs, legislative representation, and partners that facilitate success. MichBio Corporate sponsors include the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), Pfizer, Michigan State University, Dykema, Harness Dickey, Varnum Riddering Schmidt & Howlett, PhRMA, Asterand, University of Michigan, Beaumont Hospitals/Oakland University.

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