The U.S. Qualifying Therapeutic Discovery Project Program has recently identified the biotech companies that will receive part of $1 billion in tax credits or grants under the Affordable Care Act to stimulate research and development. But with almost 3,000 companies awarded the funding, many firms have reportedly received smaller allotments than requested.
RegeneRx of Rockville, Maryland, for example, apparently sought the highest amount that could be allotted—$5 million—for therapies to repair tissue and organ damage, but received approximately $733,000. Although pleased to get the money, the company’s president and chief executive told a news source that the company is “obviously somewhat disappointed that we didn’t get the full amount we were eligible for because the program was so oversubscribed.”
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), which announced the award winners in conjunction with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the U.S. Department of the Treasury, 4,606 applications were received. Of those, 2,923 biotechnology and medical research companies in 47 states and the District of Columbia were awarded funding, which was available to firms with fewer than 250 employees. “It was an indication of the great opportunity and interest that there were so many applications received,” NIH Director Francis Collins said. “Of course, with a $1 billion total amount of money available and with so many applicants being judged as entirely appropriate for this program, it was not possible to make awards as large as $5 million.”
The program, designed to help create and sustain new jobs and increase U.S. competitiveness, targets 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,” according to HHS. See HHS News Release, November 3, 2010; The Washington Post, November 8, 2010.