Biotech Drives Cures, But Challenges Threaten Industry's Delivery and Growth

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baybioSAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 5 -- BayBio released today the flagship industry study, BayBio:IMPACT 2007, providing an in-depth look at the impact of the billions of doses that the 393 innovative life-saving drugs and technologies from Northern California have on individual lives around the world. To ensure continued growth and address current barriers, the study calls for partnership and collaboration with public officials, healthcare practitioners and the investment community.

Northern California is home to the world's largest life sciences cluster, housing one-third of the U.S. industry. The region continues to deliver novel approaches to virtually all diseases, especially epidemics such as diabetes, obesity and 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 30 years of experience and lately leading the way to personalized medicine becoming a reality.

BayBio:IMPACT 2007 Key Statistics

  • 393 marketed products, 400 products in Phase II and Phase III clinical trials
  • 90,000 employees, accounting for more than $6 billion in payroll in 2006
  • Estimated new jobs created in the past 12 months: 6,000
  • 900 biotech companies in Northern California
  • Collective market capitalization: $150 billion
  • Average time for FDA approval of a new drug: 14 years
  • Average cost for development of a new drug: $800 million

"The biotech industry has made an enormous impact on people's lives, and thanks to the pioneering leadership of Northern California's life sciences industry, hundreds of solutions are available to treat and cure diseases that place a tremendous burden on society and affect billions of individuals," said Matt Gardner, BayBio president. "Yet, we still face many hurdles, and complacency is dangerous. We want to ensure innovation, better healthcare and growth but need action from policy makers to deliver."

Regulatory, Fiscal Challenges and Solutions

Numerous challenges threaten these advances, and thoughtful, proactive steps must be taken to protect the industry's ability to turn scientific discoveries into life-saving applications. These areas, as identified by the BayBio:IMPACT 2007 study, include:

  • Streamlined regulatory review processes that don't unnecessarily delay approval of, and access to, new treatments
  • The need to protect scientific advances through clear and consistent intellectual property regulations
  • Tax policies that support and adequately reflect biotech companies' research and development efforts, as well as the capital formation that supports these efforts
  • Funding for basic research as the foundation discoveries
  • Capital funding for the industry and the importance of fostering financing innovation, especially given the long and arduous process for translating basic scientific research into a marketable product


"Twenty-first century medicine requires 21st century legislation and regulation, and BayBio is committed to that end," said Gardner. "Although the biotech industry here has enjoyed much success, 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 2007 is raising significant issues within the biotech industry that need to be addressed to continue to drive innovation. "We are at a critical time in the life cycle of the biotechnology industry, and it is important we do all the things necessary for continued growth and sustainability," said George Scangos, President and CEO of Exelixis and leader in the biotech industry for the past 20 years. "Now is the time when we need to engage policy makers and leaders in the field to ensure generations to come continue to benefit from the innovations of this industry."

Over the course of 2007, 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 2007 will be released at launch events starting today in San Francisco and following in Sacramento and Washington D.C. Industry representatives and policy makers 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 900 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 2007 study, visit http://www.baybio.org

source - FierceBiotech