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San Diego Biotech Jobs Could be in Jeopardy

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Aired 4/19/09

Job losses have hit San Diego's biotech sector already. But the major damage from the slumping economy may be yet to come. KPBS Reporter Tom Fudge has more.

The life sciences industry of San Diego has been spared some of the pain of the economic downturn. But the grant funding and investment capital, that has cushened biotech companies, is beginning to dry up. Joe Panetta is the president of Biocom, the biotech sector advocate for Southern California. He says one bright spot on the horizon is the economic stimulus plan of the federal government. Panetta expects it will include many small business grants from the National Institutes of Health.

Joe Panetta : I think we're going to see that as part of the economic stimulus plan. And once that happens San Diego is going to benefit directly.

At the same time, Panetta says the local biotech industry can be expected to downsize. He says the future will likely including smaller, leaner companies that work with outside experts they don't employ. 

Tom Fudge, KPBS news.

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