AZBio Unveils 2013 Public Policy Initiatives

AZBio’s policy initiatives in 2013 focus on the path from Discovery to Development to Delivery of life science innovations  that will benefit the people of Arizona today and in the future.

Over the last 10 years, through the collaborative focus of leaders from across the state, Arizona has made tremendous progress in the area of building foundational infrastructure to support the discovery of new bioscience innovations.

Now is the time to build on that foundation and move the results of these investments along the path from Discovery (D1) to Development (D2) to Delivery (D3).

AZBio’s 2013 Policy Initiatives are designed to support the migration from D1 to D2 to D3 and bridge the innovation gap by making Arizona more competitive with Tier One Bioscience Sectors and enabling the attraction of new companies to Arizona while supporting the launch and growth of life science companies that call Arizona home.

AZBio 2013 Policy Initiatives

DISCOVERY: The Federal SBIR and STTR programs provide critical funding for life science innovation but the lag time between a Phase I, Phase II or Phase III award can prevent these new technologies from progressing to the Development and Delivery stages.  Arizona can help firms and innovators here by extending a 1) 1:1 matching grant to companies upon successful completion of a Phase I award (feasibility) and application for a Phase 2 (Prototype) SBIR/STTR award; or 2) .5:1 matching grant to companies upon successful completion of a Phase II award (Prototype) and application for a Phase III SBIR/STTR award for commercialization.  Grant dollars must be specifically applied to 1) employee retention on the project; 2) new hires for the project; or 3) contract employees or consultants to the project located in Arizona. This will not only benefit the life science innovation pipeline but can be extended across all of Arizona’s technology innovation sectors.

DEVELOPMENT: In 2012, Congress approved the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act (FDASIA) which sets the users fees companies must pay to move new drugs, diagnostics or medical devices through the FDA approval process and d move on to the  delivery stage.  Arizona can both support new development happening here AND attract new innovators by offering a transferable tax credit for the amount of these user fees to firms that 1) have development and/or manufacturing operations based in Arizona; and 2) perform at least 30% of the clinical trials for the related product in the state.

DELIVERYNew Federal Legislation regarding Biosimilars will be shaped at the state level. AZBio will work with our industry partners and the healthcare community across the three D’s to insure that Arizona is a leader in legislation that provides for both high levels of patient safety and affordable access to life saving innovations.

DELIVERY: Work in partnership with Arizona’s Hospitals, Medical Schools and our National and State leaders to close Arizona’s gap of 850   Graduate Medical Education (GME) slots so that as Arizonans are discovering and developing the latest in health innovations, we have the healthcare professionals needed to deliver them and keep Arizonans healthy. (In 2010, 1,452 residents were training at Arizona hospitals, which translated to a rate of 21.7 per 100,000 population. The national rate is 35.8 per 100,000. Arizona ranks 37th among the states.)


Government Affairs Policy 2012/2013


Our Purpose

 Advocacy is a key responsibility of any industry association.  The AZBio Government Affairs Policy and Plan for 2012/2013 provides a framework for the key concepts and initiatives that we as AZBio believe are critical to the growth of the bioscience industry  in Arizona and nationally as well as to our community as a whole.  Using this plan, our AZBio Team, Leadership, and Government Affairs Committee will work with our Members, Elected Officials, Agencies, and the Public to:

  • MONITOR the government related activity in our communities, state, and nation.
  •  EDUCATE our communities and membership as well as our elected representatives and public officials on initiatives and activities that promote a working partnership and support the growth of a vibrant biosciences industry to the benefit of everyone in our state.
  •  INFORM our members about existing government programs, laws and regulations as well as new legislation or regulation that is being proposed so that they can make informed decisions and take actions that they determine best fit based on the needs of their business, their employees and their community.

 Our Goals

  • Serve as a reliable and trusted resource to our Legislators, Elected and Appointed Officials on issues and opportunities that affect our bioscience industry, our communities, and our state.
  •  Support the discovery, development, commercialization, delivery and availability of bioscience innovations that support the sustainability of our planet, our people, and our communities.
  • Increase Access to Capital for Bioscience Companies so they can grow and create more opportunity and jobs here in Arizona.
  •   Grow and attract great Bioscience Companies and Institutions by creating a supportive tax and regulatory environment.
  • Support K-12 Education programs that benefit our state as a whole and serve as a magnet to attract and retain a talented and productive workforce.
  •  Support Higher Education; Promote University Research and Technology Transfer Activity.
  • Encourage Economic Development to support our overall Business Climate
  • Foster Bioscience-focused higher education courses, centers and  programs that educate and train for future workers from Arizona’s public higher education institutions including community colleges and universities.


Talent and Workforce Principles:

  •  Continue to fund and support state and local fundingto bioscience-related education and training programs:
    •   Engage with science, biosciences and technology programs such as academies, courses and programs in K-12 education (including STEM)
    • Develop company-specific customized job training programs that help bioscience firms expand and upgrade their workforce
    • Foster Bioscience-focused higher education courses, centers and programs that educate and train for future workers from Arizona’s public higher education institutions including community colleges and universities.


Science and Technology Principles:

Direct discretionary funds available to the Arizona Commerce Authority in ways to stimulate the growth of Arizona’s bioscience industry through support of programs to provide technological commercialization assistance to universities, medical and research institutions, and firms to better identify research that can be turned into product for patients.  Promote Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) support to firms; foster higher education and medical center technology transfer efforts and fill risk capital gaps in Arizona.

  •  Continue State matching funding support for Science Foundation Arizona (SFAz). More than half of SFAz’s funding has gone to projects to help further Arizona’s biosciences including its research base, partnerships of industry and academia, and to develop the future talent pool. Every $1 of State funds has leveraged $4.40 in private and other funding support.
  • Protect the Arizona Biomedical Research Commission’s (ABRC)  funding sources for it to continue to invest and sustain the State’s  bioscience and biomedical research base for the future.
  • Maintain momentum in the expansion and development of the U of A downtown medical campus through both state capital and operating support.

Business Climate Principles:

Support efforts to rejuvenate Arizona’s venture capital base and industry through raising private and public fund investments in an Arizona Fund of Funds. Continue to improve Arizona’s business climate by:

  • Providing a sales tax exemption for equipment used in R & D for bio-manufacturing and exempt equipment purchased from the state sales tax.
  •  Increasing the level of the State’s R & D tax credit for R & D  undertaken by Arizona firms with Arizona institutions to 50% for life   science opportunities to incent investors and buffer the perceived risk of the life science development cycle.
  •  Support cross industry coalitions to develop an Arizona  Fund of Funds with an express set aside established for emerging healthcare and life science companies.
  •  Expanding Arizona’s angel tax credit by 
    •  providing tax credits to individuals investing in early stage venture funds located in Arizona.
    • raising the tax credit to 50% for investments in life science companies
Posted in Advocacy and Regulations, AZBio News.