Feds award $126 million to Mass. life science firms
Massachusetts life sciences firms were big winners in a round of federal grants and tax credits awarded in Washington.
Local biomedical firms landed 546 federal grants and tax credits, totaling $126 million, as part of a "therapeutic discovery" program created as part of the omnibus health care reform package.
Nationwide, the program is distributing $1 billion worth of grants and tax credits to nearly 3,000 small biotechnology firms across the country.
The provision, which was authored by Massachusetts Senator John F. Kerry, created a two-year temporary tax credit for small life science businesses. The credit is designed to encourage investments in new therapies to prevent, diagnose and treat acute and chronic diseases.
The program is meant to promote projects that show significant potential to produce new therapies, address unmet medical needs, reduce the long-term growth of health care costs, or advance the goal of curing cancer within the next 30 years. Awards are given for research projects that show the greatest potential to create and sustain high-quality, high-paying jobs in the United States, and to make the nation more competitive in the fields of life, biological, and medical sciences.
The credit covers up to 50 percent of the cost of qualifying biomedical research and is only available to firms with fewer than 250 employees. Firms could opt to receive a grant instead of a tax credit, so start-ups that are not yet profitable can benefit as well.