Ferrante launches life science caucus

A pair of lawmakers launched a Life Sciences Caucus this month, adding another layer of Beacon Hill lobbying for the biopharma industry that appears likely to receive a third round of major financial support and tax incentives from the state under a proposal offered by Gov. Maura Healey.

The new group, a reboot of the former legislative Biotech Caucus, is co-chaired by Rep. Ann-Margaret Ferrante of Gloucester and Sen. Sal DiDomenico. Joining the caucus so far are Reps. John Moran, Kristin Kassner, James Arena-DeRosa, Chynah Tyler, and Steve Owens, a Ferrante aide said. DiDomenico’s office is welcoming senators to join the group, an aide to the Everett Democrat said.

Ferrante, a cancer patient, called the caucus kickoff “really important” as lawmakers weight Healey’s request to reauthorize the state life sciences initiative at $1 billion for another decade. The governor’s roughly $3.5 billion economic development bill was aired May 7, and Healey discussed her plans to keep talent, including new graduates, in Massachusetts while tackling the state’s steep housing costs.

“This might be one of the most important pieces of legislation that we work on in terms of having the ability to save lives. I would not be here if it weren’t for life sciences 1.0, 2.0 and hopefully, now 3.0,” Ferrante said. “The governor has been using this catchphrase, ‘lengthening the lead.’ In my head when I hear ‘lengthening the lead,’ I hear ‘lengthening the life’ because I see and I experience so many of the patients and their journeys, (and) what this industry can do to take someone who has a dire diagnosis or rare disease and give them hope for more time.”

Read more on the Gloucester Daily Times website→