Monday, June 16, 2008

Patrick's Biotech Bill: The Decade of Truth

Todd Wallack has a great piece in this morning's Globe about the new $1 billion biotech stimulus initiative, which becomes law today.

Wallack writes:

    The bill includes $250 million in tax incentives for companies, $250 million in grants, and $500 million for infrastructure, much of which is earmarked for the state university system. Several local biotech companies, including Shire PLC, Genzyme Corp., Wyeth, and Organogenesis Inc., stand to directly benefit from the legislation.

    [Gov. Deval] Patrick said the legislation gives him a powerful platform to sell Massachusetts to biotech leaders - encouraging more companies to expand or set up shop here.

    "We've got an awful lot to offer," Patrick said in an interview. "We are all about selling it."

Today, biotech is a pretty small (but influential) industry in Massachusetts -- about one percent of the state's workforce. Whether this billion bucks can be invested intelligently is the question that everyone in the industry was asking this past weekend at Convergence. Not everyone's optimistic. And we're not likely to know whether this money has really moved the needle for a decade.

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