Pennsylvania Gov. Ridge Leads Statewide, Three-City Promotion Of Landmark Life-Sciences Greenhouse Proposal

Ridge Joined by Leading Innovators, Researchers, Chief Executives And

Educators at Stops in Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and Hershey



Largest Technology Initiative Ever Proposed in PA



Governor to Host Life-Sciences Summit on April 30



Apr 25, 2001, 01:00 ET from Pennsylvania Office of the Governor

    PITTSBURGH, April 25 /PRNewswire/ -- Joined by leading innovators,
 researchers, chief executives and educators, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge today
 kicked off a statewide, three-city promotion of his landmark Life-Sciences
 Greenhouse proposal to encourage the General Assembly to promptly pass this
 key component of his tobacco-settlement plan.  The Governor's plan would make
 $90 million available to build on the important lifesaving biotechnology
 research at Pennsylvania's top universities -- to make Pennsylvanians
 healthier and to capitalize on the powerful economic potential of
 Pennsylvania's status as a world center for life-science business and
 research.
     The first stop on Gov. Ridge's "fly-around" was at Precision Therapeutics
 -- a young biotech company in the Oakland section of Pittsburgh that is
 working to discover better ways to treat cancer patients.
     "Precision Therapeutics is improving Pennsylvania's quality of life, one
 person at a time," Gov. Ridge said.  "What will companies such as Precision
 Therapeutics discover next?  Will it be the cure for cancer?  Unlocking the
 secrets of spinal cord injuries?  A way to prevent birth defects?  The
 Life-Sciences Greenhouses proposal will help us find out!
     "I'm crossing the state today to show the power and potential of the
 Life-Sciences Greenhouse proposal.  And, on April 30, we'll do it again when I
 welcome biotech leaders from across the state to Harrisburg for a
 Life-Sciences Summit."
     From Pittsburgh, Gov. Ridge will continue his cross-state trip at The
 Wistar Institute in Philadelphia and, finally, at the Penn State Milton S.
 Hershey Medical Center in Hershey.
     Accompanying Gov. Ridge on his travels will be key members of his health,
 economic-development and tobacco-settlement teams, including:  Health
 Secretary Robert Zimmerman; Physician General Dr. Robert Muscalus;
 Administration Secretary Martin Horn; Community and Economic Development
 Secretary Sam McCullough; Governor's Action Team Director Steve Kohler; and
 Deputy Chief of Staff for Technology Initiatives Tim McNulty.
     As part of his 2001-02 budget, Gov. Ridge proposed a dramatic $90 million
 plan to capitalize on the revolutionary life-science research now under way at
 Pennsylvania's leading universities and biotech firms by creating three
 Life-Sciences Greenhouses across the state.
     The groundbreaking Life-Sciences Greenhouse initiative would use
 $90 million in surplus tobacco-settlement funds above and beyond the money
 necessary to implement the tobacco-settlement plan Gov. Ridge gave to the
 General Assembly last year.
     "We remain committed to ensuring that every dollar received in the
 national tobacco settlement be spent making Pennsylvanians healthier -- and
 that's exactly what the Life-Sciences Greenhouses will do," Gov. Ridge said.
 "Another important byproduct of this initiative, however, is economic.  These
 Greenhouses won't just be centers for discovery, they'll be magnets for talent
 and investment.  How often do you get to improve the health of a state and the
 health of its economy at the same time?"
     The Life-Sciences Greenhouses would seek to replicate the success of the
 Pittsburgh Digital Greenhouse, launched by Gov. Ridge in 1999, which already
 has made Southwestern Pennsylvania a center in the competitive computer-chip
 design industry.
     The Life-Sciences Greenhouses will be a network of statewide innovation
 centers based in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Harrisburg.
     "From Pittsburgh's tissue-engineering cluster to the Route 202 biotech
 corridor in suburban Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is home to some of the world's
 leading biotech and pharmaceutical companies, sitting right next to some of
 the world's most prominent academic research centers," Gov. Ridge said.  "We
 need to grasp this opportunity and link these efforts together -- for the
 betterment of people everywhere."
     Pennsylvania's pharmaceutical and bio-pharmaceutical industries together
 employ more than 31,300 people, with a total payroll of more than $2.6 billion
 in 1999, while Pennsylvania's core biotech industry includes between 100 and
 150 companies with 6,000 employees.  Pennsylvania also is home to several
 firms focused specifically on tissue engineering, and ranks fourth nationally
 in employment by the medical supplies and devices sector.
     Each center will identify regionally based initiatives that may include:
 
     -- Support for industry/university technology development in targeted
         product and market lines;
     -- Specialized research equipment;
     -- Support for multi-institutional training or curricula
         development for emerging skill needs; and
     -- Seed capital and support for startup businesses.
 
     Gov. Ridge called on the General Assembly to pass the Life-Sciences
 Greenhouse initiative in conjunction with his overall tobacco-settlement plan,
 which he gave to the General Assembly in January 2000.
     Founded in 1892, The Wistar Institute was the first independent
 institution in the United States devoted to medical research and training.
 Since the Institute's inception, Wistar scientists have helped to improve
 world health through the development of vaccines against rabies, rubella,
 rotavirus and cytomegalovirus, and the identification of genes associated with
 breast, lung, colon, prostate and other cancers.
     "As director of the country's first biomedical research institute, I am
 delighted to support Gov. Ridge's biotech initiative," said Dr. Clayton Buck,
 Acting Director, The Wistar Institute.  "In this post-genomics era, it is
 impossible to overstate the importance of facilitating the movement of basic
 science discoveries from the laboratory through clinical research into the
 marketplace.  The Governor's Life-Sciences Greenhouse initiative will do just
 that."
     The Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center is a world-class, academic
 health center in Hershey.  They offer a wide range of sophisticated medical
 and surgical services and advanced treatments for some of the world's most
 difficult health problems.
     On Feb. 28, Dr. Walter Pae Jr., professor of surgery, successfully
 implanted the Arrow LionHeart(TM) left ventricular assist system (LVAS) for
 the first time in the United States.  The surgery, which took place at the
 Hershey Medical Center, lasted five hours.  The Arrow LionHeart(TM), which is
 capable of taking over the entire workload of the left ventricle, received
 approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for clinical testing in
 the United States less than one month before the procedure.
 
     CONTACT:  Steve Aaron, Deputy Director of Communications of the
 Pennsylvania Office of the Governor, 717-783-1116.
 
                     MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT -  Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X20865471
 
 

SOURCE Pennsylvania Office of the Governor
    PITTSBURGH, April 25 /PRNewswire/ -- Joined by leading innovators,
 researchers, chief executives and educators, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge today
 kicked off a statewide, three-city promotion of his landmark Life-Sciences
 Greenhouse proposal to encourage the General Assembly to promptly pass this
 key component of his tobacco-settlement plan.  The Governor's plan would make
 $90 million available to build on the important lifesaving biotechnology
 research at Pennsylvania's top universities -- to make Pennsylvanians
 healthier and to capitalize on the powerful economic potential of
 Pennsylvania's status as a world center for life-science business and
 research.
     The first stop on Gov. Ridge's "fly-around" was at Precision Therapeutics
 -- a young biotech company in the Oakland section of Pittsburgh that is
 working to discover better ways to treat cancer patients.
     "Precision Therapeutics is improving Pennsylvania's quality of life, one
 person at a time," Gov. Ridge said.  "What will companies such as Precision
 Therapeutics discover next?  Will it be the cure for cancer?  Unlocking the
 secrets of spinal cord injuries?  A way to prevent birth defects?  The
 Life-Sciences Greenhouses proposal will help us find out!
     "I'm crossing the state today to show the power and potential of the
 Life-Sciences Greenhouse proposal.  And, on April 30, we'll do it again when I
 welcome biotech leaders from across the state to Harrisburg for a
 Life-Sciences Summit."
     From Pittsburgh, Gov. Ridge will continue his cross-state trip at The
 Wistar Institute in Philadelphia and, finally, at the Penn State Milton S.
 Hershey Medical Center in Hershey.
     Accompanying Gov. Ridge on his travels will be key members of his health,
 economic-development and tobacco-settlement teams, including:  Health
 Secretary Robert Zimmerman; Physician General Dr. Robert Muscalus;
 Administration Secretary Martin Horn; Community and Economic Development
 Secretary Sam McCullough; Governor's Action Team Director Steve Kohler; and
 Deputy Chief of Staff for Technology Initiatives Tim McNulty.
     As part of his 2001-02 budget, Gov. Ridge proposed a dramatic $90 million
 plan to capitalize on the revolutionary life-science research now under way at
 Pennsylvania's leading universities and biotech firms by creating three
 Life-Sciences Greenhouses across the state.
     The groundbreaking Life-Sciences Greenhouse initiative would use
 $90 million in surplus tobacco-settlement funds above and beyond the money
 necessary to implement the tobacco-settlement plan Gov. Ridge gave to the
 General Assembly last year.
     "We remain committed to ensuring that every dollar received in the
 national tobacco settlement be spent making Pennsylvanians healthier -- and
 that's exactly what the Life-Sciences Greenhouses will do," Gov. Ridge said.
 "Another important byproduct of this initiative, however, is economic.  These
 Greenhouses won't just be centers for discovery, they'll be magnets for talent
 and investment.  How often do you get to improve the health of a state and the
 health of its economy at the same time?"
     The Life-Sciences Greenhouses would seek to replicate the success of the
 Pittsburgh Digital Greenhouse, launched by Gov. Ridge in 1999, which already
 has made Southwestern Pennsylvania a center in the competitive computer-chip
 design industry.
     The Life-Sciences Greenhouses will be a network of statewide innovation
 centers based in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Harrisburg.
     "From Pittsburgh's tissue-engineering cluster to the Route 202 biotech
 corridor in suburban Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is home to some of the world's
 leading biotech and pharmaceutical companies, sitting right next to some of
 the world's most prominent academic research centers," Gov. Ridge said.  "We
 need to grasp this opportunity and link these efforts together -- for the
 betterment of people everywhere."
     Pennsylvania's pharmaceutical and bio-pharmaceutical industries together
 employ more than 31,300 people, with a total payroll of more than $2.6 billion
 in 1999, while Pennsylvania's core biotech industry includes between 100 and
 150 companies with 6,000 employees.  Pennsylvania also is home to several
 firms focused specifically on tissue engineering, and ranks fourth nationally
 in employment by the medical supplies and devices sector.
     Each center will identify regionally based initiatives that may include:
 
     -- Support for industry/university technology development in targeted
         product and market lines;
     -- Specialized research equipment;
     -- Support for multi-institutional training or curricula
         development for emerging skill needs; and
     -- Seed capital and support for startup businesses.
 
     Gov. Ridge called on the General Assembly to pass the Life-Sciences
 Greenhouse initiative in conjunction with his overall tobacco-settlement plan,
 which he gave to the General Assembly in January 2000.
     Founded in 1892, The Wistar Institute was the first independent
 institution in the United States devoted to medical research and training.
 Since the Institute's inception, Wistar scientists have helped to improve
 world health through the development of vaccines against rabies, rubella,
 rotavirus and cytomegalovirus, and the identification of genes associated with
 breast, lung, colon, prostate and other cancers.
     "As director of the country's first biomedical research institute, I am
 delighted to support Gov. Ridge's biotech initiative," said Dr. Clayton Buck,
 Acting Director, The Wistar Institute.  "In this post-genomics era, it is
 impossible to overstate the importance of facilitating the movement of basic
 science discoveries from the laboratory through clinical research into the
 marketplace.  The Governor's Life-Sciences Greenhouse initiative will do just
 that."
     The Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center is a world-class, academic
 health center in Hershey.  They offer a wide range of sophisticated medical
 and surgical services and advanced treatments for some of the world's most
 difficult health problems.
     On Feb. 28, Dr. Walter Pae Jr., professor of surgery, successfully
 implanted the Arrow LionHeart(TM) left ventricular assist system (LVAS) for
 the first time in the United States.  The surgery, which took place at the
 Hershey Medical Center, lasted five hours.  The Arrow LionHeart(TM), which is
 capable of taking over the entire workload of the left ventricle, received
 approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for clinical testing in
 the United States less than one month before the procedure.
 
     CONTACT:  Steve Aaron, Deputy Director of Communications of the
 Pennsylvania Office of the Governor, 717-783-1116.
 
                     MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT -  Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X20865471
 
 SOURCE  Pennsylvania Office of the Governor