Washington, D.C. (December 12, 2001) - The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) has selected Philadelphia as the site of the BIO 2005 International Biotechnology Convention & Exhibition. This annual event has grown more than seven-fold since BIO was created in 1993, and has become the world’s premier biotechnology event.
The 2005 event will showcase the Philadelphia region’s strength as a biopharmaceutical hub. Approximately 80 percent of the U.S. biopharmaceutical industry is located within a 50-mile radius of the city. The region also boasts a thriving group of bioscience-focused academic institutions and a flourishing community of emerging young biotechnology companies.
“I am particularly pleased to be hosting this event in Philadelphia, my hometown,” said BIO President Carl B. Feldbaum. “I grew up in the area in the days when the double helix was a novel idea and polio was a childhood threat. The scientific milestones of the 1950s and early 1960s led me to major in biology as an undergraduate. And now, to be bringing a conference highlighting 21st century bioscience to Philly is like coming full circle.”
Making the case for Philadelphia to host the 19th annual meeting was an exercise in regional cooperation. PABIOTECH, Greater Philadelphia First, the Biotechnology Council of New Jersey, the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the City of Philadelphia-along with significant support from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania senior U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter and industry leaders-put together a winning proposal that highlights the region’s biopharmaceutical companies, universities and research institutes, talent, venture capital, hospitality infrastructure, and enthusiastic local support.
“This is tremendous news for the Philadelphia region,” said Scott Melville, president of the Pennsylvania Biotechnology Association. “The BIO convention and symposium is truly a one-of-a-kind event, both from an economic impact perspective and from an international visibility perspective. The world will get a chance to see what we already know -- that there's no better place for biotechnology than the Philadelphia region.” Melville also lauded the regional cooperation involved in preparing the winning proposal. “The BIO meeting is highly sought after, and we could not have landed it without a collective effort involving PABIOTECH, Greater Philadelphia First, the Biotechnology Council of New Jersey, the Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the Philadelphia and Pennsylvania governments. It was remarkable teamwork and we are committed to making the 2005 meeting BIO's best ever.”
BIO’s annual convention will be held in Toronto in 2002; Washington, D.C., in 2003; San Francisco in 2004; Philadelphia in 2005; and Chicago in 2006. Each year, the convention features more than 100 panel sessions, eminent plenary speakers (such as Francis S. Collins and J. Craig Venter at BIO 2001), and hundreds of exhibits and company presentations. Attendance has grown in tandem with the industry and exceeded 14,000 at BIO 2001 in San Diego last June. Media registrations topped 600, up 10-fold in just three years.
BIO represents more than 1,000 biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations in all 50 U.S. states and 33 other nations. BIO members are involved in the research and development of health-care, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology products.