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Utah Life Sciences News & Events

Senator Mike Lee Spends a Day in the BioHive

August 18, 2022

U.S. Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) on August 15 spent the day connecting with Utah’s life sciences community, known as the BioHive, touring facilities at BD, IONIQ Sciences, SEEK Labs and Carterra. His schedule also included a tour of Altitude Lab in the University of Utah’s Research Park where he led a roundtable discussion with nearly a dozen CEOs of bio startups.

Taken together, these visits with companies large and small, provided a snapshot of the extensive life-changing innovation taking place in Utah – from leaders in the IV catheter market to the major strides taking place in drug development to the changing landscape in the fight against of cancer and the search for safer alternatives to opioids.

Stressing the importance of pro-innovation and common-sense regulation, Senator Lee praised the industry’s mission to push the frontiers of science and improve health.

“Utah is leading the way in biotech and life sciences, I’m always grateful for the chance to have these conversations and hear about the successes and the challenges in this vital space,” Sen. Lee said. “The work being done right here in our state by brilliant and talented individuals is inspiring and I’m committed to ensuring this work continues and that the federal government doesn’t become a hinderance to your work. If there are any companies in your network that have concerns or issues with the government, please let my office know.”

“It was an honor for IONIQ Sciences to host Senator Lee alongside SEEK Labs, Carterra and BioUtah,“ said Jared Bauer, CEO of IONIQ Sciences and SEEK Labs. “Our state has a long and rich tradition of innovation dating back to the first Jarvik artificial heart. Our companies are proud to carry on that spirit of discovery.”

Topics of the day included workforce, government drug price controls, regulatory overreach, laboratory developed tests, the value of SBIR grants and legislation to expand coverage for multi-cancer screenings.

“Having the opportunity to engage with Senator Lee on critical issues like regulation and federal funding policy is extremely rare for early-stage startups,” said Chandana Haque, executive director of Altitude Lab. “Our startup leaders were excited and grateful for the attention and careful consideration Senator Lee gave our industry.”

BioUtah, who organized the day in the BioHive, appreciated the Senator’s continued interest in the industry and its future in the state. 

“We’re pleased that Senator Lee recognizes the importance of our growing BioHive and has taken the time to personally engage with Utah life sciences companies,” said Kelvyn Cullimore, president and CEO of BioUtah. “We also appreciate the Senator’s support for federal policies that promote, rather than impede entrepreneurship and the next generation of healthcare breakthroughs.”