Governor Patrick Signs Groundbreaking Life Sciences Legislation
Governor, Senate President, Speaker Head to BIO International Convention with Cutting-Edge Life Sciences Law in Hand
BOSTON- Monday June 16, 2008 - Governor Deval Patrick, joined by Senate President Therese Murray and Speaker of the House Salvatore F. DiMasi, signed pioneering legislation today at the Joslin Diabetes Center that will secure Massachusetts' position as a global leader in life sciences, unveiling for the first time the comprehensive, innovative Massachusetts Life Sciences Law.
"With this initiative we take our rightful place as a global leader in the life sciences," said Governor Patrick. "There is no place in the world with as great a concentration of life sciences talent, resources and vision as Massachusetts. With these resources - and the collaboration and support of the industry, academia, business and government - we are on our way to helping find new cures for diseases, creating new jobs, and positioning ourselves for long-term economic growth."
The 10-year $1 billion investment package is the result of a year-long collaboration between the Governor, the Legislature, academia, life sciences industry leaders and patient advocacy groups.
"Here in Massachusetts we have all the components to support a strong life sciences industry," President Murray said. "With our world-class medical centers and universities, and an educated workforce, the addition of this life sciences package makes Massachusetts the ideal choice for researchers and biotech companies to grow and conduct groundbreaking and potentially lifesaving work that will push treatment and medical discoveries to a whole new level."
"Today, we take a bold step to again solidify our position as the world leader in life sciences and biotechnology and our already-thriving life sciences cluster is now the envy of the world," said Speaker DiMasi. "But more importantly, we are together investing in the cures of tomorrow so we can eradicate diseases that ravage our nearest and dearest, from cancer to Alzheimer's. I am pleased with the great law we have today and the partnership with Governor Patrick, Senate President Murray and all the legislators that brought it to fruition."
The new law will enhance the state's already nationally recognized strengths in the fields of medicine and science and fill gaps in federal funding to ensure the state's ability to support life sciences innovations from idea to product. By bringing together businesses, research hospitals, and public and private colleges and universities, the law will lead to new jobs and the discovery of novel therapies that will change the way people live in the Commonwealth and throughout the world.
"We're honored to host Governor Patrick and other legislative leaders for the signing of the historic Life Sciences Bill," said Ranch C. Kimball, President and CEO of Joslin Diabetes Center. "As the world's largest diabetes research and clinical care organization, the global diabetes community counts on us for breakthroughs. We support Massachusetts' commitment to life sciences leadership, which is so vital to our efforts to improve the lives of people with diabetes and provide the greatest hope for a cure."
Aimed at capturing the best life sciences talent worldwide, the package includes:
- $500m in Capital Funding to be spent over a 10 year period; $299.5m for targeted infrastructure projects and the balance - $200m in unrestricted funds for investment in public infrastructure projects, at the discretion of the MA Life Sciences Center (MLSC).
- $25m each year for 10 years for the MA Life Sciences Investment Fund, held at the MLSC, for loans, grants, fellowships, and investments to stimulate increased research and development in the life sciences sector.
- $25m each year for 10 years in tax incentives to be awarded to certified life sciences projects.
The law also:
- Creates the MLSC Life Sciences Investment Program to expand employment in the life sciences sector in MA and to promote health-related innovations by supporting research and development, manufacturing and commercialization in life sciences.
- Creates 5 Regional Technology and Innovation Centers tobe identified from among existing life science regional centers.
- Adds an 18 member advisory board to be appointed by the Governor, including 10 members of the Massachusetts Life Sciences Collaborative, 5 chancellors of the UMass system, and 3 patient advocates. The Secretary of Labor & Workforce Development and 5 directors of Regional Technology Innovation Centers shall all be non-voting members.
- Creates four additional funds to be administered by the MLSC:
- Dr. Craig C. Mello Small Business Equity Investment Fund;
- Judah Folkman Higher Education Grant Fund for grants to graduate school students;
- MA Small Business Matching Grant Fund; and the
- MA Life Sciences Education Fund for vocational and technical school equipment purchases.
"The Life Science Initiative creates a climate which will attract and retain successful biotech companies to commit expansion plans within Massachusetts," Geoff MacKay, President and CEO of Organogenesis. "Organogenesis is implementing a major expansion to 250,000 square feet and 600 high tech jobs, and the Governor's Life Science Initiative is the driving factor guiding our selection of Massachusetts over competing options. The Life Science Initiative has given Organogenesis Inc. the business confidence to grow in Massachusetts and expand our R&D labs, manufacturing facility and global head office."
"The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation is very pleased that the Life Science Initiative has been passed," said Heidi Daniels, Executive Director of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund-New England. "This significant investment in research will help Massachusetts continue to be a leader in the research world, help Massachusetts retain the brightest minds in science to focus on solving problems, and most importantly, help all its residents move closer to cures for chronic diseases, such as type 1 diabetes, that affect so many of our loved ones."
The new law also strengthens the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, which has been charged with executing much of the life sciences initiative by focusing its attention on science and economic development, strategic investments, and collaboration with the private sector to create innovation infrastructure critical to both researchers and companies. The Center, which has just named its new CEO and President, Susan Windham-Bannister, Ph.D., willuse its scientific and financial expertise to allocate the $25 million per year dedicated to the MLSC Fund. It will also be empowered to direct approximately $200 million of the $500 million in capital funds.
"This is an exciting moment for our life sciences supercluster, and I am committed to doing all I can to advance the Governor's vision for the Mass Life Sciences Center," said Dr. Windham-Bannister. "This law will open the door for tremendous scientific, research, academic, and business opportunities here in the Commonwealth, and I am thrilled to be able to lead the Center as we begin this new chapter.
"This bill will do a great deal to increase the infrastructure for life sciences research and development in the Commonwealth," said Harvey F. Lodish, a member of the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research and Chair of the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center Scientific Advisory Board. "Our Scientific Advisory Board will do its best to insure that these moneys are spent on the projects, people, and facilities that have the greatest promise for developing new treatments and medical devices to address the conditions and diseases that affect us all."
"This ambitious legislation will accelerate innovation in the Commonwealth's life sciences cluster and allow Massachusetts researchers and companies to solidify our state's national and international leadership in the growing biomedical and life sciences industry. This bill is a game-changer for the Commonwealth--it will create new breakthroughs, new jobs and new companies today and will help the University of Massachusetts and other academic institutions break new ground and train the life sciences workforce of tomorrow," said Jack M. Wilson, President of the University of Massachusetts.
"The University of Massachusetts is excited to play such an important role in implementing this landmark life sciences legislation. The Governor, the House and the Senate have placed a great deal of trust in our research prowess and technology transfer abilities and every UMass campus will now be positioned to deliver," said Robert J. Manning, Chairman of the UMass Board of Trustees.
The signing comes just before Governor Patrick, key legislators and industry leaders head to San Diego for an international biotechnology convention. It was during the same convention held in Boston in May 2007 that Governor Patrick first took the stage with Senate President Murray and Speaker DiMasi to announce the $1 billion Life Sciences Initiative.