Congress Passes SBIR and STTR Reauthorization

December 16, 2011

MassBio joins the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) in praising the House and Senate for passage of Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) reauthorization as part of the National Defense Authorization Act (HR 1540).

The passage of this Act reauthorizes and amends the SBIR/STTR programs, which help fund small innovative companies on the brink of new technologies and discoveries.

"Funding for early stage research, available through the SBIR and STTR programs, has long been the lifeblood of Massachusetts' biotechnology supercluster. With the changes approved surrounding venture backed companies, this critical funding is available to an even broader group of the companies doing innovative research and development here in the Commonwealth," said MassBio President & CEO Robert K. Coughlin. "We appreciate the continued support of the Massachusetts delegation and other members of Congress in this reauthorization."

BIO President and CEO Jim Greenwood issued the following statement today:

“BIO and our members have long advocated for the reauthorization of, and changes to, SBIR/STTR, which are critical sources of funding for emerging biotechnology companies in the early development stages of medical research for serious and life threatening diseases, including cancer, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, and Parkinson’s.  

“We especially are pleased that this Act will allow majority venture capital-backed companies to once again compete for SBIR/STTR funds, which will help level the playing field for small biotechnology companies so that they can continue to bring innovative medical treatments and cures to market. Allowing companies that are primarily funded through venture capital to compete once again for SBIR/STTR grants will increase the number of new medical discoveries and innovations available to patients. 

“Drug development can take up to $1 billion and 10 years and at the very earliest stages, multiple sources of financing including SBIR/STTR grants have been instrumental in advancing research and development in biotechnology.

“Biotechnology is a capital-intensive industry and securing funding has never been more critical or more challenging than it is right now.

“In recent months, many U.S. public biotechnology companies have been forced to placed drug development programs on hold or cut programs all together due to lack of capital. These programs include promising therapies for HIV/AIDS, cervical cancer, and diabetes, among other diseases.

“The seed money secured today from programs such as SBIR/STTR has the potential to yield the cutting-edge, life-saving therapies and cures of tomorrow. BIO applauds the Congress for recognizing the importance of these programs and paving the way for future medical advancements and breakthroughs that will ultimately benefit individual patients and the public health at large." 



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