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For me, it's only about an hour's drive time, but it's always good to be prepared! My suggestions on what to pack (feel free to add to this list, obviously!):

The list of notable speakers just keeps on growing, check it out:

You will notice on the left ( <= ) two new ways of becomming better acquainted with BIO virtually with our LinkedIn and Facebook groups. Please feel free to pass on to your biotech contacts and join the thriving community that we are building online. The virtual world awaits!

It's that time again - Spring is beckoning, Punxsutawney Phil has made his proclamation, the Oscars have given us one grand hoorah and we here at BIO are close to announcing our first keynote speaker for the 2008 BIO International Convention, June 17-20 in San Diego. Stay tuned, or for more details - contact Tracy Krughoff at tkrughoff@bio.org or 202.312.9274.

The final numbers are in and we have good reason to celebrate (perhaps we should get a three-day weekend?!) - there were a record number of institutional investors at the CEO & Investor Conference, 1,050 in total. Most of the more than 200 company presentations were full rooms, since in total we had more than 2000 participants. And obviously a lot of dealmaking and potential dealmaking was in the works with more than 1400 one-on-one meetings.

Despite a delayed train, I got home at 11:30 last night, not too bad considering how bad it could have been! At least the thirty minute delay allowed me to hang out with Mary from Amtrak who repeatedly got requests from folks trying to move up their reservations and she had the pleasure of turning them away one after another since all the trains were filled to the brim. At least she offered them all the option of being 'duck taped to the side of the train,' that has to be the best quote I've heard in awhile. Thanks for a truly spectacular conference, everyone!

I’m heading south – and closer to home – next month. Join me from March 10-12 in Washington, DC, for our first ever, international Partnering for Global Health Forum. Ok, so technically, I jump on Amtrak in a few hours to go back home to DC, but you get the point! DC in the spring is fabulous – as long as it doesn’t rain. And the conference will be a can't miss event, even if it does rain. So why come? Four great reasons:

The biggest buzz aside from biotech at the CEO conference is definitely the light snowfall outside.  Word on the street is that it will continue to warm up and the snow won't stick, hopefully no one's travel will be dramatically inconvenienced tomorrow. If you want a second opinion: www.weather.com

BIO will debut a new conference in Boston April 22-23.  The National Venture Conference will draw early-stage, private biotech companies and healthcare venture partners.  I hope to see you there, but in the meantime, check out http://bnvc.bio.org for more details in the coming months.

The debate surrounding cancer endpoints has focused on the issue of quality of life and progression. Panelists shared some of the challenges in assessing quality of life, since it can be a fickle and subjective process. The data can be hard to nail down since patients don't always fill out the forms. The critical issues include survival rates, improved quality of life and progression of disease. Everything must be taken into consideration to determine endpoints, which is why the issue is hotly debated.

Panelists in the diabetes panel stressed the importance of the growing prevalence of the disease – it’s expected to more than double by 2030. Those are big numbers, particularly because diabetes is the number one cause of preventable blindness. There is a light on the horizon - several new treatments for both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes: