Rep. Peters was the subject of an article in the San Diego Union Tribune for receiving an award from BIO for his advocacy to create the biotech jobs of the future.

Scott Peters named a biotech legislator of the year

San Diego congressman earning a national reputation in field

By Bradley J. Fikes

Praising his support of the biotech industry, the Biotechnology Innovation Organization has named Rep. Scott Peters, D-San Diego, a Legislator of the Year for 2016.

The largest biotech trade group in the country, BIO announced the award to Peters Wednesday. BIO also honored other legislators, including Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas, a Republican; and Sen. Joe Donnelly of Indiana, a Democrat.

Peters, who was first elected to Congress in 2012, has cultivated ties with San Diego County's influential biotech industry for years. His district includes the biotech-heavy regions of Sorrento Valley, Carmel Valley and La Jolla.

Biocom, the San Diego-based biotech trade group, has named him a Legislator of The Year three times, in 2008 (as President of the San Diego City Council), 2014, and 2015.

Biocom and two other California trade groups, the California Life Sciences Association and the Southern California Biomedical Council, joined BIO for the award presentation.

Joe Panetta, Biocom's president and CEO, said Biocom joined in recognizing Peters because he has been effective in representing biotechnology concerns.

"This shows that in the short time he's been in Congress, he's really been a leader," Panetta said from Washington, D.C., where he was on hand for the award ceremony. His support of developing algae-based biofuels and an eagerness to learn about the industry helped Peters stand out as an especially significant legislator, Panetta said.

"They've been impressed by the way he's taken up the cause for biotech research funding," Panetta said. "He's also been vigilant about looking out for legislation that could potentially harm the (biotech) industry, especially a recent initiative in the House to weak patent protection."

In a statement, BIO President and CEO Jim Greenwood praised Peters for supporting issues critical to biotechnology.

“As a strong advocate for the Navy’s use of advanced biofuels and Farm Bill energy programs, Representative Peters is also a leader in supporting growth in the 21st Century bio-based economy, which is creating jobs in San Diego and around the country," Greenwood said in the statement.

"On behalf of Biocom, the California Life Sciences Association and the Southern California Biomedical Council, we thank him for his outstanding leadership and dedication to supporting the innovative capacity and job-creating potential of American life science companies."

Responding, Peters said in the statement that he was grateful for help in learning about biotech industry issues.

"The education they provide to legislators helps us become better, smarter advocates for jobs, economic growth, and cutting-edge therapies and research,” Peters said.