Champions for Bioscience
By: Colorado BioScience Association Date: 10/31/2017
Accelerating Industry Success through Advocacy
The CBSA team leads advocacy efforts on behalf of the industry and our members. We work every day to create an innovation-friendly business environment. Our policy activities at the state and federal level focus on proactive and reactive legislation. Our commitment to strong connections with federal, state and local officials fosters a culture that promotes bioscience breakthroughs.
Our policy priorities include:
- Promote increased access to capital
- Foster a supportive tax and regulatory environment
- Encourage economic development
- Support higher education and promote research and technology transfer activities
- Protect innovation
- Support calculated growth and investment in the state budget
Building Relationships with Federal and State Decision Makers
CBSA maintains strong relationships with federal officials, our state’s congressional delegation and members of the state legislature, and we are thankful for their partnership and support of our industry. We host regular industry tours and roundtable discussions with policymakers.
In August, we co-hosted an industry roundtable with U.S. Senator Michael Bennet and newly appointed FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. It gave the Commissioner the opportunity to hear from leading companies and research organizations on creating a regulatory environment that promotes innovation to improve health and quality of life for Americans.
Senator Michael Bennet, FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb Meet with Bioscience Leaders (August 2017)
“Colorado is home to one of the fastest growing bioscience sectors, leading the way on life-changing research and development,” said Senator Michael Bennet. “Dr. Gottlieb’s visit was an opportunity for researchers and innovators to engage with the FDA’s leading voice in Washington. We look forward to continuing our work together to ensure lifesaving treatments make it to patients quickly and safely.”
Establishing and Maintaining Bioscience as an Advanced Industry
The bioscience industry in Colorado is ranked by the State’s Office of Economic Development and International Trade as one of the 14 major industry sectors in the State of Colorado. The Colorado BioScience Association has played a significant role in establishing and maintaining this status through carefully-crafted policy initiatives and dedicated advocacy efforts.
A major priority for CBSA is supporting the sector’s need for improved access to capital. While Colorado bioscience companies have received $1 billion in investments since 2012, one of the most significant needs that has continued to grow year after year is the call for greater access to investment funding.
With federal funding dollars more difficult to attract, and venture capital investment looking for later-stage deals, seed capital is limited and highly competitive. In concert with the Colorado General Assembly and the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (OEDIT), CBSA has lobbied to bring forward programs to help alleviate the challenge. The effort resulted in the formation of critical bioscience capital funding programs, including:
Advanced Industry Investment Tax Credit
- Established in 2009
- Helps Colorado companies attract early-stage capital
- Supports and helps Colorado remain competitive nationally
- Used by 58 bioscience investors in 2015, who invested more than $4 million in 15 companies.
Advanced Industries Accelerator Grant Programs
- Established in 2006
- Provided $8.68 Million to Colorado bioscience companies in 2016
- Awarded $45.9 million in grants to bioscience entities since inception
- Created an economic impact including: 56 new bioscience companies, 597 direct jobs, $530 million in additional investment in bioscience
With support of the state’s Advanced Industries, including bioscience, Colorado accelerates commercialization, encourages public-private partnerships, increases access to early stage capital and creates a strong ecosystem that increases the state’s global competitiveness.
Supporting Policy Wins
The two-year moratorium on the medical device excise tax and the signed into law, 21st Century Cures Act were two incredible wins for CBSA and the industry as a whole. A permanent repeal of the Medical Device Excise Tax continues to be a top priority for CBSA and Colorado’s med tech innovators. CBSA continues to express to the delegation the damage that the medical device excise tax causes and the adverse impact on R&D investment and job creation, jeopardizing the U.S. position as a global leader in medical device innovation.
Additionally, the recently signed into law FDA Reauthorization Act of 2017 (FDARA) renews the FDA’s authority to collect user fees from the makers of prescription brand drugs, medical devices, generic drugs, and biosimilars, as well as makes critical improvements for the agency’s medical device and prescription drug review programs. This legislation is critical to providing certainty to the FDA’s operations so that patients across the nation continue receive access to lifesaving technologies, therapies, and cures in a timely and efficient manner.
CBSA is proud to accelerate the growth of Colorado’s life science industry through strong relationships with federal and state policymakers and business leaders.