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Rep. John Curtis Tours Tolero – Discusses Innovation with Local Life Sciences Companies

May 10, 2019 in Public Policy by Denise Bell

Earlier this week, on May 6, Tolero Pharmaceuticals, a biopharma company discovering novel cancer therapies, hosted a tour of their Lehi research lab for Congressman John Curtis (R-UT-3). Following the tour, and in partnership with BioUtah and National BIO, Curtis held a roundtable discussion with life sciences executives from Tolero, PhotoPharmics, PolarityTE and Thunder Biotech.

“The important work these companies and dedicated professionals are doing for patients, and the innovative drugs and medical technologies being developed by Utah’s life sciences industry, are remarkable,” said Congressman Curtis. “As Co-Chair of the Congressional Biomedical Research Caucus, I am committed to ensuring that policies in Washington support their efforts.”

More than 1,000 companies involved in life sciences  call Utah home, providing over 130,000 jobs in the state, and generating $13 billion in GDP.

“It was an honor having the Congressman tour our facility to see first-hand the research we’re doing and the progress we’re making toward finding new targeted treatments for cancers, such as acute myeloid leukemia,” said David Bearss, Co-Founder and CEO of Tolero Pharmaceuticals.

“Utah’s life sciences industry has a good story to tell,” said Kelvyn Cullimore, President and CEO of BioUtah, who attended the site visit. “We’re fortunate that Congressman Curtis understands the value and growth potential of this sector.  That understanding is evidenced in the fact he has not only joined, but is Co-Chair, of the Congressional Biomedical Research Caucus.”

During the roundtable, Curtis and attendees discussed issues impacting the life sciences industry, including FDA regulation, drug pricing, medical device tax and workforce challenges. Before wrapping up, Curtis stressed the need for companies to share their ideas with him and help shape federal legislation to further foster development of products and services by Utah’s innovative life sciences sector.

In addition to Congressman Curtis, those attending the meeting included, David Bearss, Founder and CEO,  Steve Warner, VP Drug Discovery and Development, Maggie Janat-Amsbury, Senior Medical Director, Katsumi Tanaka, Chief Strategy Officer – all with Tolero; Brett Walker, Senior Vice President, Strategy and Business Development of PhotoPharmics; Tod Schulthess COO and Doug Fogg, Chief Product Officer, both with Thunder Biotech; Ivy Estabrooke, Vice President of Corporate and Government Programs for Polarity TE; Kelvyn Cullimore, President and CEO, and Denise Bell, Vice President, Programming and Government Affairs, both with BioUtah; Shea Hartley, Government Relations Manager, for BIO; and Josh Emfield, Deputy Director with the office of Congressman Curtis.