WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Carl B. Feldbaum was named president ofthe new Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), the fruit ofthe merger of the Industrial Biotechnology Association (IBA)and the Association of Biotechnology Companies (ABC), the twoorganizations announced Wednesday.
"I am delighted to have been selected to lead the newbiotechnology organization," said Feldbaum, flanked by TomWiggans, president of the ABC, and Stephen Duzan, president ofthe IBA. "I sought the position first and foremost because ofmy belief that this industry will deliver a wide array ofbiologically derived products to address some of our mostintractable diseases."
Prior to his appointment as president of BIO, Feldbaum waschief of staff for Arlen Spector, R-Pa., the senior U.S. senatorfrom Pennsylvania. He had also been an inspector general fordefense intelligence in the Ford and Carter administrations.
"In the Defense Department, Mr. Feldbaum demonstrated anuncanny knack for understanding technological issues andcommunicating them to a wide variety of audiences, in thatcase relating to nuclear proliferation," said Duzan.
Although the new organization will not be able to take officialpositions until a board of directors has been elected, followingits annual meeting in April, the ABC will shortly be movingnext door to the IBA's K Street offices, and the staffs willimmediately begin working together.
Feldbaum said he looked forward to working with the newadministration on health care reform and other issues relatingto biotechnology. "The health care reform train has left thestation. There is no intention of hesitating to meet with theplayers and make it clear that our agenda as articulated in thatletter (to President Clinton; see BioWorld, Jan. 11) is well-known, rather than take a couple of weeks of vacation time as Ihad been planning.
"I'll be in the office on Monday because we have to move as acoordinated association with all deliberate speed."
"It is our responsibility to assure that the resulting health caresystem ... recognizes the contributions of (biotechnology)," saidDuzan, who in addition to his post at IBA is chief executiveofficer of Immunex Corp. of Seattle. Immunex's granulocytecolony macrophage stimulating factor, Leukine, for example,saves $6,000 to $9,000 per patient per bone marrowtransplant, and reduces time spent in the hospital, Duzan said.
Feldbaum praised Vice President Gore, science adviser JackGibbons and Labor Secretary Robert Reich for their knowledgeof biotechnology "and the challenges it faces." Reich, he said,had directed the 1991 Office of Technology Assessment study,"Biotechnology and the Global Economy."
"Vice President Gore has written, 'The genetic code is theorganic arm of the information revolution,' " Feldbaum said.
Already, the new administration appears to be smiling uponthe biotechnology industry. Lisa Raines, IBA's vice presidentfor government relations, said her association had receivedassurance that the targeted capital gains proposal that wouldprovide substantial tax benefits to emerging companies, whichIBA had helped to draft, would be in the president's economicstimulus package, along with the research and development taxcredit.
-- David C. Holzman Special to BioWorld
(c) 1997 American Health Consultants. All rights reserved.