By Emily FlitterThe Wall Street Journal,December 13, 2017–For years, bio-silk companies have been lobbying Congress to get their products off the market.
Now, they’re getting a boost from the government.
In a recent bill, Congress approved a bill that would grant the industry the ability to raise money for new research and development for new silk-based therapies.
The BioSilk Act would require the industry to raise $100 million for the research, and would give biotech firms such as Monsanto a special exemption from regulations on biologics that prevent them from making their products.
The bill was introduced in the House and Senate by Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., and Sen. Jeff Merkley, D.
It was introduced by Merkly, a former Monsanto executive, who said that his constituents “are not going to have to wait much longer for a miracle silk remedy.”
In an interview with The Wall Street on Wednesday, Schiff said that Congress is poised to approve the BioSilks Act and that it could have a significant impact on the industry.
“There are lots of people who would not be able to afford to go out and buy new products for themselves or their families if we had to go into the bio-surgical business,” Schiff said.
The bills is an effort by a coalition of bio- and chemical-intensive biotech companies, including Monsanto, Dow Chemical, and DuPont, to get more FDA approval for their biologic therapies, which include cancer therapies, insulin pumps, and other medical products.
In recent years, biotech companies have seen the cost of these products skyrocket.
A study published in Science last year found that the price of a cancer treatment for adults increased by nearly 300 percent between 2011 and 2016.
The cost of drugs made by the biofuels industry has also skyrocketed.
In 2016, drug makers made about $1.6 billion in profits, while pharmaceutical companies made $1 billion.
For the bioengineering industry, the price has also risen as the cost per patient has increased.
In 2019, the average cost per drug was $12,000 for those who received it and $7,200 for those without it, according to data from the Drug Enforcement Administration.
Last year, the bioengineers’ lobbying arm, Biofuels America, released a report showing that the industry had more than doubled the number of lobbyists since 2016, to more than 300.
In the new bill, lawmakers will give biotech companies more leeway to continue to develop products that they have been developing.
The legislation also gives the FDA the ability for bio-engineers to apply for exemptions to the Biotechnology Information Exchange Act, a law that gives the agency the power to determine what types of biologically engineered organisms are approved for sale in the United States.
The agency said it would review the biotechnology companies’ application and make a final determination on whether the products meet the requirements of the law.
In an emailed statement, the FDA said that it does not comment on pending legislation.
A spokesman for the biotech companies said in a statement that the legislation would give the FDA more flexibility in how to approve biologicals for sale, and that the companies would be required to provide “relevant” information about their products in the FDA’s approved products approval applications.
“This legislation is a commonsense response to the increasing need for biologistic products that can improve the health of patients and society, and it will help spur the development of new treatments that will save lives and improve the quality of life,” said Gene Munster, the company’s vice president of corporate communications.
“We believe this legislation will benefit the American public, while providing a path for more American companies to develop and sell biological products.”
The bioengineering groups support the legislation as a way to help biotech companies in the biologiscaping and bio-engineering industries, said Dr. Mark Mazzotti, a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School.
“What the biofuel industry and the bioethics industry want is to make the biologic world a better place,” Mazzetti said.
Mazzetti, who is also the president of the BioEthics and Bioengineers Institute, said that the bill is not just good for the biotechnologies, but also for the bioenergy industry.
In some ways, Mazzettier said, the bill could benefit bioenergy because the bioindustries are a smaller part of the overall economy.
“When you look at the bioeconomy, there’s a big difference between what we do and what the bio industry does,” he said.
“Bioethics is the oil and gas industry, but they have a lot of other businesses that do a lot more of the same thing.”
The bill also gives companies an opportunity to get approval for products with less risk.
The law requires biologisys to provide information about