Grants Announced at BioTech Park
Resident companies and one graduate firm at the Virginia Bio Technology Research Park will be getting $1.3 million in federal tax credits and grants.
The U.S. Department of the Treasury and the National Institutes of Health made the announcement last week.
Skunda: Four biotech companies received these federal grants for development of new therapeutics.
President and CEO Bob Skunda.
Skunda: This is part of a nationwide competition that actually was a sub-program, I guess you could say, that was created under the Health Care act that was signed into law earlier this year.
The grants can be used for research to develop new therapies.
Skunda: To reduce health care costs or targeted specifically to curing cancer; those were the criteria that the federal government had in this competition for firms around the United States.
GPB Scientific, LLC will get $244 thousand.
Skunda: Health Diagnostic Laboratories received two grants for two projects, each at 244 thousand, Molecules for Health received a smaller award this year because it was a two-year program; they're working on a cancer therapeutic. Their grant was 32,500 for 2009 and then 119,500 for 2010, and then the last company is Ceres Now Sciences. They also received two grants for each of the two years, 170,000 and then 74,000 for 2010.
Intelliject, Inc. is getting nearly a quarter of a million dollars in tax credits for its unique auto-injector.
Skunda: They started in the research park and they're located in downtown Richmond, and for folks that have been following them, they have a very, very successful drug delivery device; they had signed a 230 million dollar licensing agreement with Synophia Ventis for this device.
The credit will help, according to Intelliject’s CFO Chris Schools, reduce taxable income and support efforts to develop what he called patient–centric drug/device combination products. The therapeutic discovery project program that is funding 57 projects at 45 companies in Virginia with $11 million in awards, is similar to funding plans Skunda has been advocating at the state level for several years.
Skunda: We've been advocating taking a look at what other states have done with transferable tax credits and these types of research grants, so hopefully, while this is just a one-time effort on the part of the federal government and we've been successful with some of our companies here, that this is something that the state would recognize in beginning to formulate economic development policy that will help us build an even stronger cluster of these kinds of companies in the research park and in central Virginia.
He believes the political will exists to support Virginia’s continued growth in biotechnology.
Skunda: Successful biotech companies that are going to deliver the next generation of cures and therapies and diagnosis for diseases absolutely need access to capital, and we frankly do not have much availability of that in central Virginia and in the Commonwealth as a whole.
Nearly every state and most countries, he said, rank bio-technology high in their economic strategy.
Skunda: These are high-paying jobs, they're good jobs and they're the kind of jobs that are not only going to benefit the community and benefit the state, but they're gonna benefit society in general.
John Ogle, WCVE News