Hi, I’m Jim Greenwood, President & CEO of BIO. As 2018 winds down want to take a minute to update you on some of the major accomplishments of the year – and to look ahead to the challenges and opportunity we face in 2019. 2018 was an exciting and an important year for our industry We had our second consecutive year with more than 50 novel drug approvals. And we had the first ever approval for an RNAi therapy. In our food and agricultural and industrial and environmental sections, there have been major advances in our members work with plants, animals and microbes that will transform the way we feed, fuel and heal the world. We’ve surpassed the 300th IPO since BIO helped pass the JOBS Act, making it easier for more of our early-stage companies to access the public markets. And we are on track for one of the best years ever for raising venture capital in our industry. In Washington, we had a major policy victory this year with the passage of comprehensive opioid legislation. BIO worked hard to ensure that the legislation focused on the important role that innovation can – and must – play in addressing pain and addiction. On the trade front, we work to make sure that the newly signed US-Mexico-Canada Agreement prioritized biotechnology innovation across North America by updating intellectual property protections in agricultural market access to 21st Century standards. On our event side, we had a record-breaking BIO International Convention in Boston and are already gearing up for our 2019 Convention in my hometown of Philadelphia. 2019 is shaping up to be one of the more important years for BIO and for our industry. There will be more than 100 new members of Congress when we come back in January and many new elected officials in our state capitals and in governors’ offices. We will be working hard to educate these new members about the work that you do and to develop new champions for innovation and patient access. I plan to meet with as many of the new members of Congress as possible. So they get to know us and why what we do is so important. 2019 brings some key challenges on the policy front including the possibilities of foreign reference pricing, step therapy restrictions, and compulsory licensing on biotech IP. One of the things I always tell elected officials is that a country can have the best scientists in the world and the smartest entrepreneurs, but if it has a bad policy environment, it simply cannot succeed in the global innovation economy. And not succeeding means patients, farmers, and consumers have less access to the products they need and fewer breakthroughs will be available for our children and grandchildren. That is unacceptable. So BIO will work hard.
We will work smart.
And we will succeed. So thank you for your membership in BIO.
Our strong track record can be traced directly to you. Biotechnology is not an occupation. It is a mission and a call to solve the greatest challenges of our time: Disease, Hunger, Energy and Environmental Insecurity. The people in our industry are problem solvers. You are risk takers.
You are entrepreneurs. You are driven by science and stubborn in your refusal to accept the status quo. And I cannot think of a better group of individuals to work with over the last 14 years. We couldn’t do the work we do without your support, your engagement and your passion.
Thank you for all you do. And we look forward to a productive
and successful new year.