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FDA Chief Urges Biotech Firms to Keep World Lead

Food and Drug Commissioner Frank Young urged chief executive officers of about 50 biotech companies meeting in Laguna Niguel Tuesday not to let the United States lose its lead in the emerging industry of genetic engineering of drugs.

“I don’t want the bones of the biotech industry to fall into the same tar pit where the bones of other failed American industries now lie,” Young told the gathering at the Laguna Niguel Ritz-Carlton. He said foreign companies have proven they are capable of speeding new drugs and products to the world’s consumers at a faster pace than U.S. manufacturers because they concentrate on streamlined manufacturing processes while American makers emphasize marketing.

The commissioner proposed a three-step overhaul of the U.S. government’s role in the promotion and regulation of private research: streamlining the FDA’s drug-approval process, developing a centralized research facility for low-cost development of drugs and recruiting to the FDA top scientists to review clinical tests of new genetically engineered drugs.


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