Biotech Starts 2000 With A Bang As Recent Gains Rival Internet Stocks

  • Contact: Dan Eramian
    Charles Craig
    202-962-9200
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CEO & Investor Conference To Showcase Industry To New Investors

WASHINGTON, D.C. (January 20, 2000) Recent gains inbiotechnology stocks have rivaled the performance of Internet companies, signaling renewed and expanded investor interest in the biotechnology industry.

For the first two weeks in January, the Nasdaq Biotech Indexrecorded an increase of 13.47 percent while TheStreet.com Internet Index registered a decrease of 4 percent.

The Biotechnology Industry Organization’s (BIO) second annualCEO & Investor Conference Feb. 15-16, 2000, in New York offers the opportunity to meet the biotech industry’s leaders. The conference at the Waldorf Astoria will showcase a full spectrum of companies’ activities.

Biotechnology is revolutionizing drug discovery, offeringenormous potential benefits for public health, said BIO President Carl B. Feldbaum. Our CEO & Investor Conference offers a close look at companies involved in the latest research and development of drugs and vaccines for the most life-threatening illnesses, such as heart disease, cancer, neurological diseases and infectious diseases."

There is a whole new element of momentum in the recentperformance of the biotech sector, sparked by the genomics and chip companies," remarked Dennis Purcell, managing director of Chase H&Q,which is one of 12 investment banks co-sponsoring the BIO conference.

"Investors have realized that genomic and information-basedbiotech companies are addressing a tremendous commercial opportunity for drug discovery technologies, Purcell noted. There are great investment opportunities in biotechnology for new investors.

The overall health of the biotechnology sector is strong. In 1999, 22 biotech drugs, vaccines and new indications for existing medicines were approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. More than 350 drugs and vaccines are in late-stage clinical trials. Biotech companies raised nearly $12 billion through public and private financings and investments from corporate partners.

In addition, the Nasdaq Biotech Index soared 102 percent during1999, exceeding the 86 percent increase of the Nasdaq Composite Index, and rivaling the 184 percent jump in the TheStreet.com Internet Index.

About 1,200 biotech and pharmaceutical company executives, investment experts and investors are expected to attend BIO's CEO & Investor Conference, titled 2000 Reasons to Invest in Biotechnology. More than 180 companies will be showcased in 12 investor sessions, six CEO roundtables and an international reception featuring 50 tabletop exhibits.

The conference also will feature keynote lunch speeches by Dr.Jurgen Drews, former president of global research and development for F. Hoffmann-La Roche, on Feb. 15 and Dr. Judah Folkman, who discovered the process of tumor angiogenesis, on Feb. 16.

Dr. Folkman is director of Surgical Research Laboratories atChildren's Hospital and professor of pediatric surgery and cell biology at Harvard Medical School. His discovery of how angiogenesis contributes to tumor growth has led to clinical testing of numerous drug candidates aimed at preventing the formation of blood vessels that feed cancers.

Dr. Drews is chairman of International Biomedicine Management Partners Inc., a venture investment firm. At Roche, he was responsible for the company's biotechnology research projects, alliances and acquisitions.

A CEO & Investor Conference program, including onlineregistration forms, is posted on a special website set up for the conference (www.InvestInBio.com).

Registration for credentialed press is complimentary. CallCharles Craig at BIO (202-962-9200) for more information.

BIO represents more than 860 companies, academic institutionsand state biotechnology centers in 47 states and 26 nations. BIO members are involved in the research and development of health-care, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology products.

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.