New Trump Travel Ban a Detriment to Biotech

Mar 08, 2019
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On February 7, 2017, in response to President Trump’s Executive Order on immigration issued on January 27, 2017, approximately 200 senior biotech leaders, including CEOs, company founders and venture capitalists, published a letter in Nature Biotechnology expressing our deep concern about the negative impact this order will have on medical innovation. Following a block by a US federal appeals court, the administration produced a new ban on March 6, which includes changes that remove Iraqis from the list of nationalities affected, exclude current visa holders and refugees already granted asylum, alter the ban on Syrian refugees from indefinite to temporary and implement the ban on March 16 (rather than with immediate effect). Speaking as individuals and the lead authors of that letter, we find this new Executive Order does nothing to ameliorate our originally expressed concerns. Like its predecessor, the newly issued order is deeply detrimental to America’s efforts to develop important new medicines to address serious unmet human needs. In addition it remains just as inimical to the fundamental values on which our great nation was founded.

Jeremy M Levin1, Steven H Holtzman2, John Maraganore3, Paul J Hastings4, Ron Cohen& Bassil I Dahiyat6

1Ovid Therapeutics Inc., New York, New York, USA. 2Decibel Therapeutics, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA. 3Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA. 4OncoMed Pharmaceuticals, Redwood City, California, USA. 5Acorda Therapeutics Inc., Ardsley, New York, USA. 6Xencor, Monrovia, California, USA.

Brady Huggett

Editor, Nature Biotechnology

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