NIH funding is somewhat going flat, so new research in biotech is really becoming more dependent upon private financing and grants. When it comes to research, especially as to how it pertains to treatments and cures for cancer, there’s never enough. BD
Massachusetts is wasting no time in putting its new, $1 billion biotech initiative to work. In a panel discussion yesterday at DIA's meeting in Boston, Susan Windham-Bannister, the incoming president of the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, noted that the state is on the verge of rolling out new grants to back young investigators, funds for faculty training and matching grants to back collaborations between private developers and academic groups. There's no doubt that the state money will be welcome. I asked a few members of the panel about the effect of years of flat-line budgeting at the NIH. "We rely more and more on philanthropy," says MIT's Robert Urban, the executive director of the newly minted Koch Institute. A stagnant federal research has "changed the way my medical center interrelated with private companies," added Ken Kaitin, director of the Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development. And you can bet that medical centers will be partnering even more with the private sector in coming years.