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Tara Dougal
16 Sep 2022

Biden's $2 billion Biotech Boost

President Biden issues executive order to bolster U.S. biomanufacturing sector.

The Biden Administration has announced plans for a US $2 billion funding package for the biotechnology and manufacturing sector, to ensure a 'sustainable, safe, and secure American bioeconomy'.

In a statement, President Biden said, 'it is the policy of my Administration to coordinate a whole-of-government approach to advance biotechnology and biomanufacturing towards innovative solutions in health, climate change, energy, food security, agriculture, supply chain resilience, and national and economic security.'

The order details a range of funding initiatives, aimed at fostering homegrown innovation and R&D, boosting domestic manufacturing capacity, creating a sustainable pipeline of next-generation biotechnologists, and strengthening supply chains.

The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted a very real dependence on international drug manufacturing for production and supply of many U.S. essential medicines, and sparked discussion of 'reshoring' pharmaceutical manufacturing. This was a particular focus of the Trump Administration, who signed a $354 million contract with the little-known Phlow Corporation, to build a generic medicine and API plant in Virginia for the supply of COVID-19 treatments.

The National Biotechnology and Biomanufacturing Initiative is also centred on bringing manufacturing home, and 'will invest $40 million to expand the role of biomanufacturing for active pharmaceutical ingredients, antibiotics, and the key starting materials needed to produce essential medications and respond to pandemics.'

The order is also focused on ensuring long-term U.S. competitiveness in biotechnology, at a point where many countries, particularly China, are investing aggressively into the sector.

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