Cantwell Measure Results in High-Paying Biotech Jobs in WA

SEATTLE, WA – Small and innovative biotechnology firms located in Washington state will be able to expand their work developing promising new medical treatments with the help of competitive grants and credits awarded today under a program co-authored by U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA). Made possible by the health care reform law, the Qualifying Therapeutic Discovery Project awards totaling $34 million in grants and credits have gone to nearly 90 small biotech firms in Washington, and 2,923 firms nationally. The grants and credits support projects to address unmet medical needs, reduce long-term health care costs, advance research toward a cure of cancer, respond to health emergencies, and advance U.S. competitiveness in biotechnology while creating and sustaining high-paying jobs in the United States.


“Many of Washington state’s small biotech companies are leaders in developing the health care cures of tomorrow,” Senator Cantwell said. “These competitive grants provide innovative small biotech firms with the capital necessary to sustain their promising research in a tough economic climate. Medical innovation is a key way to lower health care costs, which also helps protect and create high-paying jobs and bring critical new drugs to market.”


Senator Cantwell co-sponsored the Qualifying Therapeutic Discovery Project with Senators Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and John Kerry (D-MA). Their aim was to keep high-paying jobs and potentially revolutionary medical therapy research in the United States amid growing global competition and diminished access to capital. From 2007 to 2008, funds raised by the industry fell by more than half, according to the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO). The U.S. biotech industry has shrunk by about 25 percent – a loss of roughly 100 public companies – since fourth-quarter 2007, according to a BIO press release.


The program grants and credits are available to companies with 250 or fewer employees, the vast majority of our nation’s biotechnology industry. The program allows small biotech firms to claim a tax credit or cash grant equal to as much as half of the cost of their biomedical research in 2009 and 2010. A complete list of the small biotech firms in Washington receiving grants can be viewed here.