Jim Greenwood is set to step down as CEO of the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) after the 2020 election. Greenwood has held the position for more than half of BIO’s history but will now make way for a new leader who will work to “defend innovation from domestic political attacks.”
Under Greenwood’s leadership, BIO tripled in size, growing from a relatively small player in 2005 to a 176-employee organization with an $85 million operating budget. BIO has almost doubled its annual outlay on lobbying under Greenwood, going from spending a little more than $5 million in 2004 to just shy of $10 million last year, according to data tracked by the Center for Responsive Politics.
The increase in spending has covered a period in which BIO has fought to protect drug developers from the perceived threats of government actions. Those threats are arguably as acute today as at any point during Greenwood’s reign, and the CEO plans to go out fighting.
“I will continue my full-throated advocacy to ensure our elected officials do not kill innovation in a populist furor and prevent our scientists from delivering a new generation of genomic cures,” Greenwood said in a statement.
The timing of Greenwood’s departure means he will continue to make the case for biotech until the end of this election cycle and help support the transition to a new BIO leader in 2021.
Greenwood took over as leader of BIO from its founding president Carl Feldbaum in 2005. Before joining BIO, Greenwood spent 12 years as a Republican member of the House of Representatives. BIO lists efforts to modernize the FDA and lift a ban on embryonic stem cells among the initiatives Greenwood worked on during his time in Congress.
Since leaving to join BIO, Greenwood has continued to shape legislation, leading the industry side of negotiations about the Prescription Drug User Fee Act and the 21st Century Cures Act. Those negotiations have affected how drugs are developed for the U.S. market.