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Amerijoe
07-25-2016, 12:15 PM
Now lobbying Congress: Some of the hottest biotech startups

Big pharma and biotech companies have long had a lobbying presence on Capitol Hill. Now, some of the buzziest startups working on gene therapy and genome editing are doing the same.

The most recent companies to join the club: Bluebird Bio and Editas Medicine, which both began lobbying Congress in the second quarter of this year, according to recently filed regulatory documents. A primer on who's twisting arms on the Hill:

Bluebird Bio, which is developing gene therapies, paid $60,000 to a lobbying firm in the second quarter for work on issues including pediatric priority review vouchers.

Editas Medicine, a drug developer focused on CRISPR genome-editing technology, shelled out $40,000 to reach Congress on funding issues and regulation of “innovative recombinant genetic technologies.”

CRISPR Therapeutics, also working on gene editing, has spent $20,000 a quarter since last fall lobbying Congress and the executive branch. One focus: A Senate bill that would make it easier to bring drugs targeting rare diseases to market.

Intellia Therapeutics, another startup working on CRISPR, has spent $15,000 a quarter since last summer to lobby, mostly on issues involving the National Institutes of Health and the National Academy of Sciences.

Spark Therapeutics, a Philadelphia company developing gene therapies, has spent $20,000 each quarter since the spring of 2015 lobbying on medical devices, pharmaceuticals, and the FDA.