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Governor Corbett Visits Life Science Employers in the Southeast, Holds Town Hall with Employees

DOWNINGTOWN and KING-OF-PRUSSIA, Pa., July 17, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Governor Tom Corbett today held town halls with the employees of two growing life science companies in southeastern Pennsylvania, ViroPharma and CSL Behring.

The governor viewed expansion plans at each company and conducted a question and answer session on a wide range of issues from the recently passed budget to his policies to grow and maintain our life science industry in Pennsylvania. 

"The life sciences industry continues to be a key economic driver that is not only advancing global health, but providing thousands of high-paying jobs for our citizens," Corbett said. "By supporting the growth of the industry – from helping entrepreneurs transform ideas into commercial products to supporting the establishment and expansion of biotech companies – we are ensuring the biotech economy will continue to grow and flourish in Pennsylvania."

The Life Sciences are a $40 billion industry and currently employ more than 79,000 Pennsylvanians.

In April, Corbett was honored by the Biotechnology Industry Organization with its 2013 Governor of the Year Award in recognition of his leadership and commitment to strengthening the state's biotechnology and public health sectors.

In 2011, Corbett assembled a Life Sciences Leadership Advisory Council, with representation from the state legislature, the administration, academia, industry and the investment community, to develop a 10-year strategic plan to strengthen the industry. The enacted 2013-14 budget addresses key recommendations of the council to enhance the industry's strength and to facilitate future job creation.

"You'll notice that I've placed a lot of importance on getting a balanced budget that encourages private-sector job growth, passed on time," Corbett said. "There's a good reason. Businesses thrive best and have confidence in a climate of certainty."

The budget eliminates the inheritance tax for small businesses and honors the governor's commitment to continue the phase out of the Capital Stock and Franchise Tax. To encourage entrepreneurial growth, the budget initiates a $5,000 start-up business tax deduction, increases the net operating loss cap to $4 million in 2014 and $5 million in 2015 and repeals the corporate loans tax.

The governor also answered questions on other aspects of the recently passed state budget including his historic state support of basic education, additional funding to address the needs of people with intellectual and physical disabilities and increasing funding to combat violence against women through the state's rape crisis and domestic violence programs.

ViroPharma is an international biopharmaceutical company committed to developing and commercializing innovative products that address unmet medical needs. The company was founded by a small group of entrepreneurs in Downingtown nearly 20 years ago and currently has more than 200 Pennsylvania employees.

In September 2012, Corbett announced that ViroPharma planned to double its space and hire an additional 151 employees. The expansion project was coordinated by the Governor's Action Team and the Chester County Economic Development Council.

"ViroPharma is a true Pennsylvania success that continues to grow and create jobs in the region," Corbett said. "The investments we make today to help our companies grow and create jobs for all Pennsylvanians will lead to a more stable and thriving commonwealth for generations to come."

CSL Behring is a leader in the plasma protein therapeutics industry and is committed to saving lives and improving the quality of life for people with rare and serious diseases. The company manufactures and markets a range of plasma-derived and recombinant therapies worldwide. CSL Behring's global headquarters in King of Prussia currently houses 398 full-time employees. 

"The life sciences industry is a cornerstone of our economy, and successful companies like CSL Behring are an important reason why manufacturing jobs in Pennsylvania have grown," Corbett said.

Media contacts:
Kelli Roberts, Governor's Office; 717-783-1116
Steve Kratz, DCED; 717-783-1132

SOURCE Pennsylvania Office of the Governor
Copyright©2012 PR Newswire.
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