Legislation Passes to Advance BioScience and BioMedical Centers Across Louisiana

GNO IncGNO, Inc., along with support from a number of other partner organizations and individuals, has announced the passage of the legislation HB 549 in the research and development sector.

The bill passed establishes the MediFund as a special fund for advancement of seven biosciences, biomedical and medical centers of excellence statewide.

“The biomedical sector represents one of the greatest job creation opportunities in Louisiana, if properly focused and funded,” said GNO President and CEO Michael Hecht. “The MediFund is a policy tool that will drive both outcomes, by encouraging collaborative strategy development for destination healthcare and translational research – the two best ways to create jobs –  and then providing funding for the best strategies.  In New Orleans, the MediFund will help ensure the $2B investment the new medical corridor will result in thousands of new jobs for the community.”

Hecht said the passage is due to a diverse coalition of support from across the state, including House Speaker Pro Tem Walt Leger, lead sponsor, and Senator J.P. Morrell, who carried the legislation in the Senate.

“Louisiana has a unique opportunity to establish itself as a leader in bio-sciences, and the creation of the MediFund will allow us to capitalize on this opportunity,” said House Speaker Pro Tem Walt Leger. “I was proud to work with GNO, Inc. and our entire bio-science community on the passage of this legislation.”

“Our economy is increasingly driven by innovation,” said Adam Knapp, President and CEO of the Baton Rouge Area Chamber. “The MediFund legislation lays the groundwork for new biomedical research grants for Louisiana, which will only further help to diversify our economy into this high growth sector. This was an exciting partnership for the super-region, and we congratulate and thank Rep. Leger and GNO, Inc. for their leadership.”

The bill was originally introduced in March of this year and passed as part of the 2013 State Legislative Session. It received unanimous support by 44 sponsors.