SAN DIEGO, March 17, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Biocom, the association representing the California life science community, is deeply concerned by the drastic cuts to medical research proposed by the Trump Administration in its Fiscal Year 2018 budget. Under the proposal, released on Thursday, funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) would be cut by $5.8 billion or almost 20 percent.
Said Joe Panetta, president & CEO of Biocom, "The proposed cuts would set a dangerous precedent and negate recent funding increases, which were the result of bipartisan negotiation and agreement in Congress over the past several years. This is the first time in my 18 years at Biocom, other than in sequestration years, that the budget is proposed to decrease while, in real spending dollars over that period of time, the NIH has lost 22 percent of its spending power. This is simply untenable for our California life sciences research community."
According to FY 2016 NIH data, $3.69 billion in NIH funding went to 416 NIH-funded institutions in California, with a total of 7,720 NIH grants awarded in 46 California Congressional districts. Those grants are essential to not only research institutes and universities but also small life science companies, which rely heavily on NIH Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grants for their early stage operation. Also known as America's Seed Fund, the SBIR program is one of the largest sources of early-stage capital for many companies struggling for survival.
"An overall cut of the magnitude proposed by the White House would be disastrous to the ability of research institutions, academic campuses, and small companies throughout California to continue to be a primary driver of the state's economy. The cuts would affect jobs throughout the state, stymie medical innovation, and delay the development of new treatments and cures. Now is not the time to turn our back on patients," added Panetta.
"We cannot afford to wait and see how this situation will proceed as the proposal is considered by Congress," concluded Panetta. "Biocom is ready to fully engage with our California Congressional delegation of 55 members to impress upon them that it is crucial that they come together to support a robust NIH budget which will allow our life science community to continue to deliver on our promise to bring to market the life-saving products for which we have developed a reputation for more than 40 years."
Biocom is the largest, most experienced leader and advocate for California's life science sector. We work on behalf of more than 850 members to drive public policy, build an enviable network of industry leaders, create access to capital, introduce cutting-edge STEM education programs, and create robust value-driven purchasing programs.
Founded in 1995 in San Diego, Biocom provides the strongest public voice to research institutions and companies that fuel the local and state-wide economy. Our goal is simple: to help our members produce novel solutions that improve the human condition. In addition to its San Diego headquarters, Biocom operates a core office serving the Los Angeles market, satellite offices in Washington, D.C. and Tokyo, and has a continuous staff presence in Sacramento. Our broad membership benefits apply to biotechnology, pharmaceutical, medical device, genomics and diagnostics companies of all sizes, as well as to research universities and institutes, clinical research organizations, investors and service providers.
For more information on Biocom, please visit our web site at www.biocom.org. Connect with us on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter (@BIOCOMCA).