A federal tax credit that aims to spur more research and development on the best ways to treat chronic diseases will soon be available to Massachusetts’ life science companies.

Starting today, the Therapeutic Tax Credit is a two-year credit that businesses with 250 or fewer employees can apply for through the US Treasury Department.

Senator John F. Kerry said the credit will help create jobs in the life, biological, and medical sciences sectors.

Robert K. Coughlin, president and chief executive of the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council, said the tax credits could help companies create lifesaving cures.

Eligible companies can receive a 50 percent tax credit for qualifying projects, and a total of $1 billion will be allocated.

Companies have until July 21 to apply. Contact my office for more details.