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Gov. Gregoire announces new medicines in pipeline

For Immediate Release: June 29, 2009

SEATTLE – Gov. Chris Gregoire today joined U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee and the “We Work for Health” coalition to release a report on 119 new medicines under development by companies with a presence in Washington. The report, issued by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, highlights medicines in human clinical trials by companies that do business in the state.

Of the 861 new treatments now in clinical trials for cancer, 46 are being developed by companies with Washington ties. Washington companies are also performing 18 of the 312 current clinical trials for heart disease.

“The work occurring across our state in the biotech and global health areas is not only helping to create a more robust economy, but it’s going to help make a better world for our children and our grandchildren,” Gregoire said. “When I think about the report being released today on the 100 new medicines in clinical trial, it’s hard for me to not think about how some of these treatments will help prevent thousands from suffering from disease.”

Gregoire established the Life Sciences Discovery Fund in 2005 using money from the state’s tobacco settlement and private funds to finance groundbreaking research and development of biomedical and other scientific advances. The fund is intended to put Washington at the heart of leading-edge research to cure debilitating diseases and to create jobs in the bio-tech industry.

“Medical innovation is something that Washington is very good at and in which we have a long history of leadership,” said Dr. Lee Huntsman, “We Work for Health” co-chair and executive director of the Fund. “The collaboration among nonprofit, for-profit, and public and private institutions in the life sciences is a hallmark of the research and discovery that’s led to incredible breakthroughs right here in the Puget Sound region.”

Biopharmaceutical research and manufacturing companies employ nearly 20,000 people and contribute $10.5 billion to the state economy.