Ayotte's NH business tour has global tone - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Ayotte's NH business tour has global tone

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GlycoFi in Lebanon, N.H., is a small business doing big things.

"We are in the early discovery of biologics," said Natarajan Sethuraman of GlycoFi.

The biotech company does the early research for injectable protein drugs like insulin. It was started by two Dartmouth professors in 2000 and was bought six years later by pharmaceutical giant Merck for $400 million.

Reporter Gina Bullard: Is it hard to have a business like this in the Upper Valley?

Natarajan Sethuraman: There are several advantage and disadvantages.

Being close to Dartmouth College helps bring in qualified employees, but not being able to quickly travel to biotech hubs like Boston and New York is a downside.

"For us to travel to other sites is really difficult because we have to drive to Manchester and catch a plane," Sethuraman said.

That was one of the concerns the company brought to Sen. Kelly Ayotte's attention during her tour of the company Thursday.

"To appreciate what is on the employees' minds, to learn more about businesses and how policies in Washington affect the ability of business to thrive and grow," said Ayotte, R-New Hampshire.

After the senator's tour of the facility, Ayotte addressed the company. One of the biggest issues on her mind wasn't pharmaceuticals, but unrest in Syria. Ayotte was in a classified briefing Wednesday in the Senate Armed Services Committee on President Obama's request for authorization to use military force in Syria, but she says she still has unanswered questions.

"With the proposal the president has made, will that have an impact on deterring the future use of chemical weapons on the Assad regime and really making a difference? Because if we only make a strike, then Assad comes out and declares victory; I have won. That may not accomplish our purpose of stopping further use of chemical weapons and may further empower him," Ayotte said.

Ayotte hopes the president will address the nation on what he hopes to accomplish and what national security interests are at stake.

In the meantime, it's stops at home hoping to fuel jobs in the Upper Valley.

"This area we hope is an incubator for science, technology and incubators," Ayotte said.

Ayotte says she does not support a boots on the ground approach and says that option is not on the table.

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