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Welcome to The Seattle Times' online letters to the editor, a sampling of readers' opinions. Join the conversation by commenting on these letters or send your own letter of up to 200 words letters@seattletimes.com.

May 11, 2010 at 4:00 PM

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Dendreon develops, proves treatment for prostate cancer

Posted by Letters editor

Health-care improvements in hands of city, state leaders

Your recent editorial on a newly approved cancer medicine developed in Washington state called for growth within the Seattle biopharmaceutical research cluster, and with good reason [“Dendreon has done it,” Opinion, May 7].

It is a highly innovative and high-growth sector. In 2006, the most recent year that data were available, the sector employed more than 21,000 jobs in the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue area and nearly 68,000 throughout Washington, leading to $916.5 million invested in research and development in the state.

That is why it is worth supporting public programs focused on growing this important sector. From the Life Science Delivery Fund, which provides grants to foster health-care competitiveness throughout the state, to the city-sponsored development of Seattle’s own South Lake Union district, much of the future of local biopharmaceutical businesses rests in the hands of city and state leaders.

— Ken Johnson, senior vice president of Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, Washington, D.C.

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