BIO 2013 show preview: Twenty years strong

Highlights of BIO convention’s big anniversary year include return of orphan diseases forum and new Alzheimer’s forum

Jeffrey Bouley
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CHICAGO—If you want numbers, here are two big ones: 20 and16,500—the first is the number of years the BIO International Convention willhave been going on when it opens its doors April 22 in Chicago at McCormickplace, and the second is the number of people expected to attend.
 
 
The mastermind of it all, the Biotechnology IndustryOrganization (BIO), says the BIO International Convention is the largest globalevent for the biotechnology industry and attracts the biggest names in biotech,offers key networking and partnering opportunities and provides insights andinspiration on major trends affecting the industry—calling it a "can't-missevent" for those with a stake in any aspect of the biotechnology andlife-science industries, from research to technology, investments to economicdevelopment and state initiatives and policies to international marketplacetrends.
 
 
To present all this, the 2013 BIO International Conventionwill feature a program of more than 800 speakers in more than 125 sessionsacross 15 topic areas, addressing the latest business opportunities andchallenges as well as the newest innovations for executives, investors,scientists and policy leaders. Some of the topic areas include AchievingRegulatory Approval and Compliance; Drug Discovery and Development; Innovationsand Opportunities in Vaccines; Biotech Patenting and Tech Transfer;Manufacturing of Biologics and Drugs; International Market Briefings; MarketAccess and Commercialization; Business Development; Finance; Biofuels andBiobased Chemicals; and Food and Agriculture.
 
 
"Chicago is recognized for its cutting-edge architecture andworld-class design, which will serve as an appropriate backdrop for this year's2013 BIO International Convention, where a constructive blueprint for thefuture of the industry will be further advanced," says John Flavin, co-chair ofthe BIO Program Committee. "On the cusp of new frontiers in biotech researchand development, visionaries ranging from industry and academic veterans tothose just starting to chart their path will find the program, exhibition andpartnering meetings will provide an unparalleled set of tools to forge theirideas into products for the future benefit of patients and consumers."
 
 
Although the event covers a broad swath from industry toagriculture, the life sciences and healthcare markets are a huge draw at theevent, both in terms of sessions and attendees.
 
 
Three sessions in the Drug Discovery and Development Trackthat stick out in the mind of Robbi Lycett, vice president of conventions andconferences for BIO, include "Open Innovation: Transforming the Mind ofBiopharmaceutical R&D," presented by AstraZeneca; "Physiology First: How toBreak Down R&D Traditions for Breakthrough Drugs," presented by aTyrPharma; and "Broad Spectrum Antivirals: The 'New' Holy Grail," presented by BCCPartners.
 
 
"Due to the popularity of 2012's program, the OrphanDiseases Forum is back this year," Lycett adds. "New to the agenda in 2013 isthe Alzheimer's Forum, and new to the exhibit floor this year is the RareDiseases Partnering Summit, which will give pediatric institutions the chanceto present in the Business Forum, and the BIO Alliance Pavilion, which willfeature both academic and patient advocacy groups participating in partnering.Additionally, attendees looking to earn CLP, CLE and RTTP continuing educationcredits will have the opportunity to do so though our educational programming."
 
 
Speaking to the interest in the Orphan Disease Forum, BIOPresident and CEO Jim Greenwood notes that according to the U.S. NationalInstitutes of Health, some 6,800 rare diseases exist in the United States,affecting nearly 30 million Americans, or almost one in 10 people.
 
 
"The Orphan Diseases Forum is an important program whichfosters dialogue amongst industry and patients, ultimately benefiting anincreasingly diverse population," he says.
Because this year marks the 20th anniversary of the BIOInternational Convention, Lycett says that in the spirit of looking ahead tothe next 20 years, the Tuesday keynote address will highlight rising biotechstars featured in the second annual Forbes"30 Under 30" list.
 
 
"Forbes magazinepublished a list of the most awe-inspiring rising stars in science andhealthcare, all under the age of 30," Lycett notes. "A select group of theserising stars will participate in the Keynote Luncheon with Jim Greenwood."
 
 
BIO also seeks to highlight the role of academia in theadvancement of the biotechnology field through the BIO Alliance Zone and theTranslational Research Forum.
 
 
"With 70 percent of academic and research institutions atthe convention participating in partnering, the BIO Alliance Zone,Translational Research Forum and programs focused on the link between academia,industry representatives and investors are invaluable," says Greenwood.
 
 
The BIO Alliance Pavilion's Academic Zone is dedicated toacademic and research institutions and will serve as a place for academic andindustry partnering meetings as well as provide a venue for highlighting theinvolvement of academia in the convention and the industry as a whole.According to Greenwood, the Academic Zone will allow companies to discover newfunding mechanisms, energize pipeline and drug development opportunities andconnect with innovative academic stakeholders.
 
 
A special program, The Translational Research Forum: Movingfrom Translational to Transformational, is dedicated to exploring ways that theprivate sector, academia and the public sector—in both emerging and developedmarkets—can leverage existing mechanisms and pursue partnerships to help makeinnovative products available. The forum will survey best practices andoutcomes from partnerships in transformational research and explore with theaudience ways to leverage a greater return on public investment. That eventwill be held Monday, April 22, from 1:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
In addition to expecting that 16,500 or more biotechprofessionals will attend the 2013 BIO International Convention, a third ofthem from outside the United States, BIO also expects to host more than 2,000exhibitors and some 60 international and U.S. state pavilions.
 
 
"Prospective attendees should consider the BIO InternationalConvention as the most productive week they will have all year," Lycett says."While the event is large in scope, they should think of BIO as several smallevents held in tandem: a conference, partnering, an exhibition and perhaps mostimportant, the ultimate networking opportunity. For those looking forinternational partners, this event brings the world to Chicago."


Among the most eye-catching scenic options at Millennium Parkis the
giant,metallic, bean-shaped Cloud Gate Sculpture that reflects both
theskylineand passers-by. CREDIT: City of Chicago



For Kevin Noonan's "Patent Docs" column on some Supreme court-related decisions that are sure to be among the big talk at BIO 2013, click here. When you're done, come back here and keep scrolling down for more BIO 2013 coverage...


Chicago's Field Museum is—among other natural, historicaland artistic
wonders housedthere—home of Sue, the largest completeTyrannosaurus
Rex skeleton ever discovered. CREDIT: City of Chicago


Fiscal discussion isfocus of keynote presentation
 
 
CHICAGO—The co-chairs of President Barack Obama's NationalCommission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform—and co-founders of the Campaignto Fix the Debt—former Sen. Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles will engage in whatBIO predicts will be a "lively" panel at its keynote luncheon.
 
Titled "Debt, Taxes, Government Services and Politics—IsThere a Way Out?" and scheduled for Wednesday, April 24, from noon to 2 p.m. atthe convention, the panel will be moderated by Jim Greenwood, BIO's presidentand CEO.
 
 
According to BIO, the panel will draw from Simpson's andBowles' "inside-the-beltway knowledge and experience" to discuss theirnon-partisan movement to put the United States on a better fiscal and economicpath.
 
"Decisions about federal spending, deficits and tax policieshave a huge impact on the environment in which our BIO member companies do thehard work of biotech innovation," Greenwood says. "Few are as knowledgeableabout budget issues as Mr. Bowles and Sen. Simpson. We look forward to hearingtheir ideas for how to ensure a strong economic future for America withoutcompromising biotechnology's ability to move faster to heal, fuel and feed theworld."
 
 
Simpson first joined the U.S. Senate in 1979 and was electedby his peers to the position of the assistant majority leader in 1984 andserved Bob Dole, the majority leader, in that capacity until 1994. He completedhis final Senate term in 1997.
 
 
Bowles, best known for his roles as had of the SmallBusiness Administration, deputy chief of staff and chief of staff underPresident Bill Clinton, worked at the direction of Clinton and with the Houseof Representatives and Senate to negotiate the first balanced budget in ageneration.
 

 
Super-session me!
 
 
CHICAGO—The 2013 BIO International Convention will featuresix diverse Super Sessions designed to highlight "pressing industry topics suchas the state of the industry, emerging R&D initiatives between public andprivate sectors, the future of biotechnology under the Affordable Care Act(ACA) and the future of deal-making and global innovation," according toBIO. 
 
 
"Attendees have come to expect a dynamic group of C-levelspeakers from major biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies to be featuredduring our Super Sessions," says BIO President & CEO Jim Greenwood. "Thisyear's line-up will not disappoint as it promises to offer insight and valuableadvice on the current economic development, key policy issues and major trendsthat will impact the future of the global industry."
 
 
Super Sessionsinclude:
 
 
Ernst & Young's Beyond Borders Report 2013
Tuesday, April 23, 10 a.m.-11:30 a.m.
The business climate for the biotechnology industry remainschallenging, BIO notes, and in today's "new normal," venture capitalists aremore selective, initial public offerings more elusive and alliance partnersmore demanding. Even as biotech companies grapple with these challenges,healthcare systems are undergoing a fundamental shift toward outcomes andpay-for-performance. The presentation will feature insights from the report'sauthors and a panel of industry leaders by presenting key metrics used tomeasure the industry's performance, including financial results, venturecapital, public markets, mergers and acquisitions, alliances and more.
 
 
Burrill State-of-the-Industry Report
Tuesday, April 23, 2 p.m.-3:30 p.m.
This presentation will feature highlights from the newannual report "Biotech 2013: Capturing Value." Governments worldwide are facingnew pressures to contain healthcare spending and demands to develop reliableand environmentally sustainable sources of food, energy and industrialproducts. Participants will learn what innovation looks like in 2013 and howcompanies will need to think differently about the way they create and capturevalue in the evolving world of healthcare. 
 
Innovative Innovation: New Partners, New Partnerships
Tuesday, April 23, 3:45 p.m.-5:15 p.m.
To help accelerate the time and reduce the cost betweenconcept and cure, a number of new research and development initiatives areemerging. These efforts aim to bring medicines to patients faster byfacilitating collaboration to solve common challenges encountered during thediscovery and development process. This session will focus on several of theserecently created public and private sector partnerships whose goal is toimprove the productivity of the biomedical research ecosystem, and will explorehow they may provide solutions with meaningful impact for patients worldwide.
 
 
Affordable Care Act is Here to Stay
Wednesday, April 24, 10 a.m.-11:30 a.m.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) of 2010includes key provisions that could lead to new and improved treatments, curesand cost savings for patients. All of these changes will impact thebiotechnology industry and the future of patient access to needed medicines.This panel will address significant questions concerning the future ofbiotechnology under ACA and provide insights on what these changes mean for theindustry, such as the impact of ACA on patient access to prescription drugs,biologics and vaccines, as well as implications of state decisions onexchanges, benchmark benefit plans and Medicaid expansion.
 
 
The Return of the Pipeline Deal
Wednesday, April 24, 2 p.m.-3:30 p.m.
Since 2007, a decline in pipeline deals has occurred acrossbiotech. It used to be common to read about the next billion-dollar biobuckdeal that your neighborhood small biotech struck with pharma, BIO notes, buthow often do we read those headlines these days? The reality for smallstart-ups is that large pharma and big biotech have been much harder to entice.This panel will discuss the future of deal-making.
 
 
Scientific American Worldview
Wednesday, April 24, 3:45 p.m.-5:15 p.m.
Which countries are winning the innovation game? Will theUnited States maintain its leadership position in the future? Have emergingmarkets lived up to the hype? Which new partnerships are transformingindustries? Participants in this session will hear from a dynamic panel ofinternational industry luminaries who plan to examine the future of globalinnovation.
 
 
    Whether at the Super Sessions or elsewhere, business reallydoes boom at the convention, BIO notes, pointing out that more than 4,000companies participated in the One-on-One Partnering meetings at the BIOBusiness Forum and in the BIO Exhibition at the 2012 convention, which hosted arecord-breaking number of more than 25,000 partnering meetings.
 

 
Update your 2014calendar
 
 
BIO recently announced updated dates for the 2014 BIOInternational Convention, which is to take place at the San Diego ConventionCenter and was originally scheduled for June 24 to 27. The new and confirmeddates, however, will be June 23 to 26, so that BIO can stay with itstraditional Monday through Thursday pattern.
 

Fort additional stories about BIO 2013 and more photos of Chicago, click here.

 

Jeffrey Bouley

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