Mass. governor files $1B biotech bill

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick (D) has filed a 10-year, $1 billion biotech investment bill designed to help the state keep its lead in the industry. At the center of the proposal is $500 million in capital funds to build the world's largest stem cell bank, which would contain 30 stem cell lines available to both the public and private sectors. In addition, the bill calls for an RNAi center to expand on the work of Nobel Laureate Craig Mello. The bill also calls for $25 million a year for research and training grants and an additional $25 million in tax incentives for the industry.

"With this legislation we can begin a robust stage in our own long march toward investment in innovation and infrastructure throughout the region and in every region of the Commonwealth," the governor said. "We want to create a pipeline of ideas to cures, from inspiration to commercialization." Patrick first announced the funding at BIO 2007 in May. Massachusetts lawmakers expressed support for the bill but worried that the price may be too steep.

- read the announcement from the Governor's office
- see the Boston Globe report