Patrick Touts Massachusetts At Biotech Conference

By Phillip Martin

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Sept. 8, 2011

BOSTON — Hundreds of biotech and pharmaceutical dealmakers from around the world gathered in Boston this week for a BioPharm America 2011 conference in Boston — and Gov. Deval Patrick is stressing the importance of their work to the Massachusetts economy.

In 2008, the governor announced a 10-year, $1 billion life sciences Initiative. Now, Gov. Patrick says he wants them to consider setting up shop in Massachusetts. Among other incentives cited by the Governor are the state’s educational advantages.

“First of all, we’re funding the public schools at the highest levels in the history of the Commonwealth. We’re the first in the nation in student achievement. We’re third in the world now in science and math. We are focused on innovation in the classroom just as we are in the economy and that creates the kind of well-prepared and highly-trained work force that matters to biotech and other innovation industries,” Patrick said.

It seems to matter quite a bit to Lonnie Moulder, the CEO of Tesaro, a firm once based in Minnesota that focuses on cancer related research. Moulder said public and higher education were big factors in the company moving to Massachusetts.

“Frankly, Boston is really the leader, and I think the data indicates that based on the amount of money that’s been invested here, the number of companies that exist and the number of people employed by the industry,” Moulder said.

Biotechnology-related enterprises have grown dramatically in the state over the past decade — even during the recession — reflecting both a hunger for cures to unsolved illnesses and a hunger for greater profits. For Gov. Patrick and state leaders, that hopefully translates as jobs in a recovering but still troubled economy.

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