Press Release: 2007 BIO International Convention Surpasses Records and Brings the World to Boston
2007 BIO International Convention Surpasses Records and Brings the World to Boston WASHINGTON -- May 9, 2007 - The 2007 BIO International Convention, produced by the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), drew a record 22,366 attendees, a nearly 15 percent increase from the previous year, with representatives from 48 states and one-third of attendees from outside the United States. "The 2007 BIO International Convention was a phenomenal success. With nearly 30 percent of our attendees coming from outside of the United States and pavilions from 39 countries or geographic regions, it truly was the global event for biotechnology," said BIO President and CEO Jim Greenwood. "I want to thank Governor Deval Patrick of Massachusetts and Mayor Thomas Menino of Boston, among many others, for welcoming the event to Boston and providing an ideal backdrop as one of the leading global biotech hubs." Event highlights included keynote addresses from Michael J. Fox, founder of the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research, and Her Majesty Queen Noor of Jordan. Fox, who appeared before a packed room, urged the biotechnology industry to continue to innovate and accelerate the translation of basic science into improved therapies for patients. Queen Noor discussed the opportunities presented by biotechnology to address global health and poverty issues. Today's final keynote session was entitled, "A Hopeful Future: Gaining the Edge with Biotechnology." Greenwood moderated a panel featuring Robert S. Langer of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Craig C. Mello, Ph.D., of the University of Massachusetts Medical School, author Virginia Postrel and Dr. Phillip A. Sharp of MIT. The panelists discussed their visions of the biotechnology industry over the next 10 to 20 years, agreeing that within that time drug discovery will become faster and less expensive than it is today. Clinical testing prior to commercialization, however, likely will remain expensive. Sharp advised that the United States has no monopoly on biotech. "There is science in Europe, Asia and elsewhere. I see us as having increasing competition ... biotech is something we have to keep competing at," he said. Mello and Postrel agreed that the cost of not treating disease has to be examined, perhaps as closely as the costs of treatment are examined today. Drug development costs, they said, should be viewed relative to the economic benefit of a healthy society. The full Convention program included four full days with more than 200 breakout sessions covering 20 educational tracks on the most pressing issues in biotechnology including global health, biofuels, stem cell research, vaccines, investment strategies, white biotechnology and dozens more. In addition, many dignitaries and public officials attended the Convention, including Senator Pat Roberts (KS), Gov. Deval Patrick (MA), Gov. Anibal Acevedo-Vila (PR), Gov. Matt Blunt (MO), Gov. Jim Doyle (WI), Gov. Ernie Fletcher (KY), Gov. Mitch Daniels (IN), and Gov. Donald Carcieri (RI). International dignitaries included The Hon. Dato' Sri Mahd Najib Tun Abdul Razak, the Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia, among many others. The BIO Exhibition featured the largest gathering of biotech exhibitors in history, with more than 1,900 companies and 60 domestic, country and regional pavilions representing every aspect of the biotechnology industry. The BIO Business Forum also set records for attendance and partnering meetings. More than 6,000 attendees representing 1,503 companies participated in the Forum and held 12,103 partnering meetings. The 2007 BIO International Convention is the world's largest event for the biotechnology industry. The Convention ran Sunday, May 6 through Wednesday, May 9 at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center in Boston, Mass. The 2008 BIO International Convention will be held June 17-20 at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, Calif. The day pattern will change to Tuesday - Friday. About BIO BIO represents more than 1,100 biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations across the United States and 31 other nations. BIO members are involved in the research and development of healthcare, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology products.