Governor Schweitzer Hails New Montana Bioscience Trade Association

The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) announced today that Montana became the 39th state to form a trade association to represent the state’s developing bioscience industry.

"Montana’s BioScience industry is steadily developing," said Montana’s Governor Brian Schweitzer. "Our state is home to such institutions as the International Heart Institute at St. Patrick Hospital in Missoula, LigoCyte Pharmaceuticals in Bozeman and McLaughlin Research Institute in Great Falls. I look forward to working with the Montana BioScience Alliance for a thriving life science entrepreneurial community in Montana."

"The Montana BioScience Alliance was formed to create a strong partnership between universities, biotechnology industries, and hospital and clinical laboratories from all regions of Montana," said John O’Donnell, President of the Montana BioScience Board of Directors, and Executive Director of TechRanch in Bozeman. The alliance’s primary role will be to assist in transferring promising technology into the private sector for investment and development, and to cultivate the relationship between the life sciences cluster and state government.

"Montana joins a growing number of dedicated bioscience associations that comprise the Council of State Bioscience Associations (CSBA) within BIO," said Patrick Kelly, vice president of state government relations for BIO. "The CSBA provides an excellent forum for Montana BioScience Alliance representatives to network with other state-based bioscience association executives to discuss policy matters affecting the industry as well as exchange best practices regarding association management," continued Kelly.

"Affiliation with BIO and having the ability to participate in the CSBA will help us keep abreast of national trends and issues relevant to the sector," said Sharon Peterson, executive director of the Montana BioScience Alliance. "Our mission is to serve as a hub for Montana’s biotechnology companies, entrepreneurs, laboratories, hospitals, clinics and universities to commercialize, grow and sustain globally competitive bioscience companies – ultimately to create high-quality jobs and economic opportunity in Montana."

In addition to Sharon Peterson and John O’Donnell, Carol Beam, St. Vincent Healthcare, Billings and Dick King, Missoula Area Economic Development Corporation are Executive Committee members of the association’s founding Board of Directors. Included on the Board of Directors are: the Governor’s office of Economic Opportunity, LigoCyte Pharmaceuticals, Inc., McLaughlin Research Institute, the University of Montana, Corixa, WindStone Medical Packaging, the Montana University System, Montana State University, Montana State University-Billings, Deaconess Billings Clinic Research Center and Dorsey and Whitney, LLP. Significant initial funding for the organization has been provided by the Governor’s office of Economic Opportunity and the associates and founding members.

BIO is a national trade organization representing more than 1,000 biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations in all 50 U.S. states and 33 other nations. BIO members are involved in the research and development of health-care, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology products.

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