CONGRESSIONAL BIOTECH CAUCUS PLANS NOV. 13 MEETING
CONGRESSIONAL BIOTECH CAUCUS PLANS NOV. 13 MEETING with three CEOs: George Rathmann of ICOS, Genzyme's Henri Termeer and Immunex' Stephen Duzan. At the November caucus conference in Washington, D.C., the three execs are expected to discuss the pharmaceutical biotechnology industry and issues facing it. The session also will include presentations from National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci, MD, and representatives of agricultural firms involved in biotechnology. Formed in July, the Congressional Biotechnology Caucus now has 45 House and Senate members. Co-Chairmen are Sens. Lautenberg (D- N.J.) and Brown (R-Colo.) and Reps. McMillan (D-Md.) and Bliley (R-Va.) ("The Pink Sheet" July 29, T&G-8). The caucus met Oct. 2 to review the biotechnology process patent bill (HR 1417/S 654) which would restore the patentability of a "process of making or using a machine, manufacture or composition of matter" when the starting compound is novel and nonobvious, and thus patentable ("The Pink Sheet" July 29, T&G-7). Rep. Moorhead (R-Calif.), who with Rep. Boucher (R-Va.) is a lead sponsor of the House measure, told the caucus that he expects the House Judiciary/Intellectual Property Subcommittee to hold a hearing on the bill in late October. However, HR 1417 has not yet been added to the subcommittee's official hearing agenda. On the Senate side, the Judiciary Committee is expected to mark up S 654 sometime this fall. A revised version of the bill cleared the Senate Judiciary/Patents Subcommittee July 25. The revisions are seen as affecting the bill's procedural requirements but not its substance.
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