BIO '99 Expected To Be Record Setting International Showcase

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 8, 1999) The latest scientific, technological and product development activities in biotechnology from around the world will be on display in Seattle, Washington, May 16 through May 20 at the BIO '99 International Biotechnology Meeting & Exhibition. Program updates are available at www.bio.org.

The annual meeting of the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) is the world's largest exhibition of its kind. A record 5,000 company executives, scientists, investment experts and government officials from 40 nations are expected to attend. The conference will feature more than 125 presentations including developments in medical, agricultural and industrial biotechnology. More than 500 exhibitors also will display their most up-to-date product innovations.

BIO President Carl B. Feldbaum said, "As we approach the new millennium, biotechnology is center stage in virtually everyeffort to improve our lives. At this conference we will highlight the remarkable scientific achievements, explore the implications of these developments and examine the complicated relationships that operate among industry, academia, government, investors and the public.

"For five days we will celebrate the progress of biotechnology and let everyone see for themselves the enormous benefits already realized."

Speakers and participants are leaders in government, science, business and industry. They include Washington Gov. Gary Locke, Seattle Mayor Paul Schell, Dan Goldin, administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Leroy Hood, of the University of Washington, and Ian Wilmut, of the Roslin Institute.

BIO '99 will take place at the Washington State Convention & Trade Center in Seattle. Program highlights include:

Biotechnology for Non-Specialists (Sunday, May 16) A three-hour seminar on the basics of biotechnology taught by experts in the field.

International Roundtable (Sunday, May 16) Industry, government and association leaders from around the world will focus on global issues affecting the biotechnology industry. The program is anchored by the annual meeting of the International Biotechnology Forum.

Predictions of the Nobel Laureates (Monday, May 17) Seattle has been called the "Athens of genetics" because of the achievements of scientists who work there. A panel of Nobel Prize winners will predict where biotechnology is headed in the 21st century.

The Science of Sustainability (Monday, May 17) Four sessions will explore developments such as green technologies, which reduce industrial energy consumption and toxic chemical wastes, and advances in modifying enzymes to create more efficient biocatalysts.

Food & Ag Biotechnology (Tuesday, May 18) Five sessions will examine agricultural applications of biotechnology, including one focusing on New Trees on the Horizon: The Science, Issues and Value of Forestry Biotechnology. The program will end with a biotech farmer's market display and biotech buffet.

Post-Genomic Science (Tuesday, May 18) Leroy Hood, of University of Washington, and David Galas, former CEO of Darwin Molecular, in Bothell, Wash., will lead a panel discussion exploring the way genomics is revolutionizing science and medicine.

Bioinformatics (Tuesday May 18) Computers are an essential part of biotechnology. Dr. Jeremy Levin, CEO of Physiome Sciences, will lead a panel discussion on how the industry is merging biology and computers for drug discovery and medical device design.

The Future of Aging (Wednesday, May 19) Ian Wilmut, of Scotland's Roslin Institute, and Thomas Okarma, of Geron Corp., will lead a panel discussion on recent research breakthroughs that may extend the quality and duration of life.

Financing High Technology in the 21st Century (Thursday, May 20) The health care reimbursement system for new drugs and treatment techniques is constantly in flux. Experts will discuss trends in reimbursement in public and private health care programs.

BIO represents more than 850 biotechnology companies, academic institutions and state biotechnology centers in 47 states and 26 nations. BIO members are involved in the research and development of health care, agricultural and environmental biotechnology products.

NOTE TO EDITORS: Briefings will be held each morning to highlight events and a press conference schedule will be posted. BIO also will assist in setting up interviews with speakers.

Registration for credentialed press is complimentary. A fully operational press room with computers and Internet access will be available. To register, click on the BIO '99 box on BIO's home page (www.bio.org) and then click on "register here for BIO '99."

Special discounts on United Airlines are available through S&T Travel, of Olney, Md. Contact S&T by telephone (301-260-9100), fax (301-260- 9033), or email (sandttrvl@erols.com).

About BIO
BIO is the world's largest trade association representing biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations across the United States and in more than 30 other nations. BIO members are involved in the research and development of innovative healthcare, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology products. BIO also produces the BIO International Convention, the world’s largest gathering of the biotechnology industry, along with industry-leading investor and partnering meetings held around the world. BIOtechNOW is BIO's blog chronicling “innovations transforming our world” and the BIO Newsletter is the organization’s bi-weekly email newsletter. Subscribe to the BIO Newsletter.