What Innovation Means to the Illinois Life Sciences Industry

Today is Innovation day in Illinois. Innovation is critical to the life sciences industry in Illinois, because innovation in the life sciences industry extend lives, improve quality of life and drive value to patients and the healthcare system as a whole.

Illinois life sciences companies are committed to expanding the boundaries of science by discovering, developing, and delivering innovative and needed medications to patients. To that point, in 2017 Illinois based life sciences companies invested over $14 billion in R&D to discover new medicines, therapies and products for patients.

The industry’s commitment to R&D and the resulting commercialization of innovation has a profound impact on patients lives. Innovative medicines extend the lives of people with serious disease, allowing patients to enjoy quality time with their loved ones.

  • Today, 83% of children with cancer survive, compared to 58% in 1970 thanks to innovative medicines.
  • HIV/AIDS death rates have decreased by 85% since 1995
  • Heart disease death rates have decreased by 30% from 2001 to 2011
  • Cancer death rates have decreased by 22% since 1991.

Innovation in the life sciences help people live longer, healthier lives and positively impact society. The life sciences industry is just getting started, but to ensure future growth of the industry in Illinois we need to invest in our innovative ecosystem.

Earlier this month iBIO released our 2019 State of the Industry. One of the key takeaways from the report is the need to increased access to early stage funds for Illinois life sciences companies.

Working with Senator Elgie Sims, and supported by DCEO, iBIO introduced SB1608 which would update Illinois SBIR Matching program in DCEO to meet best practices from other states. The SBIR program provides more than $2.5 billion annually in grants from 11 federal agencies designed to help small businesses create and commercialize new innovations and technologies.

Illinois 6th largest state but we don’t even rank in the top 10 states for SBIR Awards. Currently 21 states offer some kind of SBIR matching program. SB1608 will incentivize Illinois startup companies to apply for SBIR awards, and if funded, will provide Illinois based scientific startup companies with up to a 50% fund match. SB1608 passed out of the senate with a vote of 48-0-0. Representative Justin Slaughter is the House Chief Co-Sponsor.

To support this program, iBIO is working with G2G consulting to provide a monthly Government Bioscience Grant Report for Illinois. This report provides a list of available SBIR grant and other federal non-dilutive grant opportunities. We are also committed to hosting webinars to help Illinois companies understand these grant opportunities and apply for them.

To access the April Grant report visit: http://www.g2gconsulting.com/bioscience-corner#gbg. Password: G2GBio17 (case sensitive)

Startup and R&D stage companies are critical to the pipeline of new innovative therapies for patients. We are committed to improving the innovation ecosystem in Illinois, because in our industry innovation improves patient lives. I encourage you to join with iBIO and support SB1608.