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Rep. Michael Capuano Welcomes Dr. Steven Niemi Before The Technology Subcommittee

Wednesday October 26, 1999 -- Congressman Michael E. Capuano today welcomed Dr. Steven Niemi, President of Genetix Pharmaceutical Incorporated located in Cambridge Massachusetts, before the Technology Subcommittee of the House Science Committee. Introducing Dr. Niemi, who has had over 15 years of experience in the development of medical biotechnology, Congressman Capuano remarked that "Dr. Niemi's background and qualifications will certainly bring a unique insight into the dilemmas which will be discussed this afternoon".

Dr. Niemi testified before the subcommittee as to the challenges facing small biotechnology companies as they enter the new millenium. His testimony focused on the need for biotechnology firms to have ready access to federal research and development data, as well as the need for patent regulations. He also pointed out that one of the benefits of federal funding provides small biotechnology companies greater visibility and credibility.

Although small biotechnology firms are numerous and employ the majority of scientists in the field, it is difficult for small biotechnology firms to attract the venture capital necessary for them to succeed in such a research-intensive and time consuming industry. One of the key components for attracting funding, Dr. Niemi pointed out, is a willingness to make contacts in both the venture capital community, as well as the banking community. He also stressed the importance of involving local government development agencies and foreign investors in obtaining appropriate funds for small biotechnology firms to remain viable.