Murphy, speaking to global life science audience, touts N.J.’s past — and his hopes for its future in sector

Gov. Phil Murphy was honored to be given the Governor of the Year award Wednesday morning in Philadelphia, but happier about the fact he got to pitch the state as a place for life science innovation before a global audience.

Speaking at the annual international BIO conference — an event that touts itself as having more than 16,000 attendees from 67 countries — Murphy highlighted the state’s past and what he hopes will be its future.

“We are the state where, more than 130 years ago, Johnson & Johnson opened its doors and started us on the path to becoming the ‘Medicine Chest to the World,’” he said. “We are home to 13 of the world’s 20 largest biopharmaceutical companies. We are where immunotherapy was born, where the cure for hepatitis C was discovered and where the first-ever FDA approvals for both CAR-T therapy and a 3-D printed drug were won, among countless other advances.”

He said that history led his desire to create the yet-to-be-launched Evergreen Fund and The Hub in New Brunswick.

“It’s why we proposed the New Jersey Innovation Evergreen Fund, which would pair $250 million in state resources with private (venture capital) funds for joint investments into a diverse array of New Jersey-based startups,” he said.

“And, it’s why I am proud to announce that our state-run incubator, the New Jersey Commercialization Center for Innovative Technologies, and the affiliated Technology Centre of New Jersey, will soon be rebranded and relaunched as the New Jersey Bioscience Center.”

In addition to talking about the industry, Murphy discussed tax incentives and the Opportunity Zones in the state that could be key advantages to any company looking to move to the state.

“Last year, after speaking with our in-state biotech partners, we modernized our Research and Development Tax Credit to more closely match the available federal benefit, with expanded eligible research categories, new calculation methods and larger available credits,” he said.

“Our work also continues in our efforts to double New Jersey’s Angel Investor Tax Credit. These credits, when paired with our proposed new suite of state economic incentives and the new federal tax benefits available by locating a business in one of our 169 Opportunity Zones, demonstrates that we are working hard to make sure that the ‘open for business’ sign is neon, LED, energy-efficient and hung where everyone can see.”

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