Southern California Biotech Execs Take Stand Against Immigration Order

A long list of executives in Southern California have joined in a joint statement, published in Nature on Tuesday, which call the Presidential Immigration order a "misguided policy", and complained the move gave a message that "America is no longer welcoming of any immigrants, whatsoever." The executives--from such firms as Xencor, Amlyin Pharmaceuticals, Salus Discovery, Regulus Therapeutics, Metacrine, ViaCyte, Dauntless Pharmaceuticals, aTyr Pharma, Orexigen Therapeutics, Verity BioConsulting, Neurocrine Biosciences, Cidara Therapeutics, 5AM Ventures, Crinetics Pharmaceuticals, and Cerus--joined a total of 166 biotech executives in issuing the statement. The executives, in particular, cited a 2014 study that found 52% of the 69,000 biomedical researchers in the United States were foreign-born. The biotech industry in Southern California relies on a large number of researchers, many foreign-born, who come to the United States as students for advanced degrees; in recent years, studies have found that foreign students make up more than 90 percent of students in U.S. graduate programs in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM)--the source of the biotech industry's ravenous appetite for talent.