New bill boosts federal funding for biotech

Congress is getting set to consider a bill that would help provide new funding for fledgling tech businesses, including biotech start-ups. The "Small Business Early Stage Investment Act of 2009" gives funds to firms that in turn invest it into early-stage companies. If passed, it would authorize $250 million in funding next year for companies focused on energy, environment, life sciences, IT, digital media, cleantech, and defense. The bill would amend the Small Business Investment Act of 1958.

BIO is supporting the bill, as is Connect, a non-profit group that's attempting to gain additional federal support of San Diego's biotech sector. The groups say funding is crucial to an industry that has promising science, but has been hit hard by the financial crisis. Connect CEO Duane Roth tells Xconomy that the bill is exactly the type of opportunity his group is hoping to see passed, and so far things are looking promising. The measure appears to have support from both Democrats and Republicans, and so far neither side seems inclined to oppose the bill.

- read the Xconomy article