BIRMINGHAM, Ala., Aug. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- The Biotechnology Association of Alabama (BAA) extends its congratulations and welcomes the Hudson-Alpha Institute for Biotechnology to the City of Huntsville and the State of Alabama, following today's press conference announcing the creation of a new joint state and private supported research entity.
BAA Chairman, Matthew A. Gonda, Ph.D., and BAA Secretary, Greg Peterson, Ph.D., J.D., attended the news conference where Governor Bob Riley, Dr. Jim Hudson, founder of Research Genetics; Mr. Lonnie McMillan, co-founder of Adtran; and other Alabama notables officially announced plans to create the nonprofit research institute which will be built in Huntsville. Industry advocates see this as yet another sign that momentum is building as the state positions itself to expand its life sciences industry and promote awareness of existing business and research accomplishments.
"This new facility, with its focus on life sciences, will substantially impact Alabama by further elevating the state to showcase world class research in biotech and pharmaceutical research," says Dr. Gonda. "The Biotechnology Association of Alabama applauds Dr. Hudson, Mr. McMillan, the other individual contributors, Governor Riley and the state legislature for taking this step and showing their support. We in the industry applaud these efforts."
Dr. Peterson echoed those sentiments. "I cannot emphasize how important this announcement and the addition of this new research facility are for Alabama's high-tech future," says Dr. Peterson. "We see this as an initiative the state is taking to make life sciences a priority, and it is further evidence that the State of Alabama provides a good home for the biotechnology industry."
The Hudson-Alpha Institute announcement follows a host of other encouraging events for the state during the past 18 months:
- The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) topped $433 million in
externally funded research, 14 of its programs were ranked in the top
25 nationally by U.S. News & World Report, and was named one of four
institutions that will make up a new virtual Center for HIV/AIDS
Vaccine Immunology (CHAVI) by the National Institute of Allergy and
Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health seven-
year, $300 million award.
- Birmingham-based Southern Research Institute received FDA approval of
clofarabine -- the sixth cancer drug discovered there -- and was named
one of the nine Molecular Libraries Screening Centers being funded in
the $88 million, three-year program funded by the National Institutes
of Health as part of the NIH Roadmap Initiative to escalate the
discovery and development of new drugs.
- Several biotech-related companies in Alabama, including Transmolecular,
Inc., Tranzyme, Inc., and BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, Inc., raised
approximately $100 million in growth capital.
- Aetos Technologies, Inc. was founded as a financial partnership with
Auburn University, its management team and private investors to
commercialize and market technologies developed at Auburn as well as
other academic and research institutions.
- The University of South Alabama in Mobile broke ground for the
University of South Alabama Cancer Research Institute, a state-of-the-
art, 100,000-square-foot treatment and research center.
- The state saw the creation of eight new biotech-related companies. More
than 90 biotech-related businesses now call Alabama home or have major
- Alabama enacted legislation creating the Certified Capital Company
(CAPCO) program and allocated $100 million dollars of premium tax
credits to insurance companies who match the states credit in
investment dollars to local venture capital firms to promote investment
in Alabama-based businesses. The allocation of the tax credits was made
in early February 2004 to six CAPCOs around the state
- The Alabama Pavilion at the BIO 2005 International Conference held in
Philadelphia last month was staffed by nearly 50 team members and
received a significant increase in visitors to the Pavilion and media
attention from the previous year.
About the Biotechnology Association of Alabama
The Biotechnology Association of Alabama was formed in 1997 by biotechnology executives and community leaders to provide a unified voice for the state's emerging biotech industry. The BAA was incorporated as a non- profit trade association, 501(c)(6). The BAA sees great opportunity in taking advantage of Alabama's strong life sciences assets to build a future that puts the State in a leadership position in the nation and the world in diagnosing, treating and curing human and animal diseases while keeping our environment cleaner and safer. For more information visit http://www.bioalabama.com
Rhonda Jung, PR Committee Chair, 205-581-2317, firstname.lastname@example.org
Biotechnology Association of Alabama