Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Don't forget Kansas in the stem cell race?

"It's safe to say that every state in the country is targeting the life sciences as a major growth industry," said Jim Greenwood, president of the national Biotechnology Industry Organization, at a presentation last week during BIO 2006, the industry's flourishing national convention. [One wonders if state investment in biotech will give taxpayers a good return on their money? Kansas has a $580 million bioscience
initiative, comparable to New Jersey's proposed stem cell effort.]


Whether those states are spending their money wisely, however, is an
open question.
In Florida, critics have angrily denounced the $500 million
in taxpayer money given to the private Scripps Research Institute to build
an offshoot of its California medical-research campus.


A lesson?

Even when states are able to lure small companies, the benefits can
be short-term. In 2002, South Carolina beat North Carolina in a
high-profile bidding war by offering more than $10 million in grants, tax credits,
and other assistance to entice a small pharma company called Pilot Therapeutics
to the state. Today, the company is out of business.


Of Kansas -->

"You can't do it in a vacuum," Phelps said, citing the Greater
Boston area's support infrastructure, biotech-trained workforce, and proximity to
other companies. "I don't know what advice I'd give Kansas."

[from Stephen Heuser, The Boston Globe, April 16, 2006]


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