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Shaheen Delivers Remarks at Diabetes Cell Therapy Manufacturing Facility Groundbreaking Ceremony

**Later in the day, Shaheen visited an Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Lab in Manchester.**

Lonza  ICAC

Left: Shaheen at the Vertex and Lonza groundbreaking ceremony. Right: Shaheen visiting the NH ICAC lab in Manchester.

(Portsmouth, NH) - U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Co-Chair of the Senate Diabetes Caucus, delivered remarks at a groundbreaking ceremony for a new Type 1 Diabetes cell therapy manufacturing facility in Portsmouth. The Senator highlighted her work to help diabetes patients, including her efforts to cut the cost of insulin. The manufacturing facility will be jointly developed by Vertex Pharmaceuticals and the Lonza Group. Operated by Lonza, the facility will span more than 130,000 square feet and is anticipated to create up to 300 new jobs at peak capacity.

“Diabetes impacts millions of Americans annually, including members of my own family,” said Shaheen. “Therapeutic medicines, such as the medications being developed by Vertex and Lonza, are key to creating a future where Type 1 patients can live free of daily insulin injections. I’m proud that this new facility is being built in Portsmouth and the role New Hampshire will play in the fight to find a cure for diabetes.”

As co-chair of the Senate Diabetes Caucus, Shaheen works to increase awareness of the threats posed by diabetes, invest in research and improve access to treatment options. Earlier this year, Shaheen and Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) introduced the Improving Safeguards for Users of Lifesaving Insulin Now (INSULIN) Act of 2023, which would comprehensively address the skyrocketing costs of insulin and remove barriers to care making it more accessible to millions of Americans. Shaheen and Collins have consistently pressed to hold insulin manufacturers, insurers and pharmacy managers accountable for the skyrocketing cost of life-saving insulin. The Senators recently announced that the Special Diabetes Program Reauthorization Act of 2023 passed the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) committee by a vote of 20-1. This bipartisan legislation would reauthorize and strengthen vital Type 1 diabetes research happening at the National Institutes of Health and renew critical treatment, education and prevention programs for at-risk populations.

Later in the day, Shaheen visited the newly renovated New Hampshire Internet Crimes Against Children (NH ICAC) Digital Forensics Laboratory in Manchester. The ICAC’s leadership team briefed the Senator on their operations and provided a tour of their facility. The NH ICAC Task Force was established to investigate crimes such as child prostitution, online solicitation of minors, and the possession, manufacturing and distribution of child sexual abuse images.

“There has been a frightening increase in online dangers for children, and thankfully the NH ICAC Task Force, among others throughout the country, are working to find those who are doing harm to our children,” said Shaheen. “I thank all the law enforcement officers who make up this task force for the critically important work that you do to keep our children safe in the digital world.”

“I worked with Senator Shaheen on legislation to support NH’s network of Child Advocacy Centers when she was Governor and then as she transitioned to the Senate,” said Brad Russ, Executive Director of the National Criminal Justice Training Center at Fox Valley Technical College. “She has led and continues to lead the national effort to support ICAC Task Force program. Her focus on ensuring law enforcement stays ahead of the technology gap is critical and we are all grateful for her ongoing, longstanding, and informed leadership.”

The ICAC program nationwide is comprised of 61 task forces, and the NH ICAC Task Force was established in 1998. The ICAC program operates under the Office of Justice Programs’ Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP). As Chair of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee that funds the OJJDP, Shaheen consistently works to secure federal resources to help law enforcement prevent and respond to internet crimes against minors. In the FY23 government funding law, Shaheen secured $105 million for programs to help missing and exploited children administered by OJJDP. The law also included a Shaheen-led provision for $76,000 in funding to help the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Department acquire a specialized vehicle for their K-9, Niko.