Renowned Parkinson’s Disease Patient Advocate Michael J. Fox to Deliver Keynote Address at 2007 BIO International Convention

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (February 28, 2007) -- Michael J. Fox, founder of The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research, will deliver the keynote address at the 2007 BIO International Convention on May 7, 2007, at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center. The 2007 BIO International Convention, the global event for biotechnology, runs May 6-9 in Boston, Massachusetts.

Titled “Driving the Development and Availability of Novel Therapies,” Mr. Fox's keynote will address the need for creative approaches to speed translation of the significant investments in research and discovery into meaningful, patient-relevant advances in human health. The discussion will explore strategies and solutions to "de-risk" investment in novel therapeutics for the biotechnology industry and academia alike.

“Michael J. Fox has long been outspoken on the urgent need for patient-focused approaches to research,” noted Jim Greenwood, president and CEO of the Biotechnology Industry Organization, the producer of the International Convention. “Michael’s address will stand as a highlight of our convention as we spotlight the progress being made by the biotechnology industry in the search for improved treatments and a cure for Parkinson’s and other debilitating diseases.”

Mr. Fox established The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research in 2000, shortly after announcing his retirement from television. At the time of his retirement, Mr. Fox publicly disclosed that he had been diagnosed with young-onset Parkinson's disease nearly seven years earlier.

As of January 2007, the Foundation has funded more than $90 million of research, either directly or through partnerships, supporting more than 300 Parkinson's research projects throughout the world. The Foundation’s portfolio of research investments reflects its focus on translational and clinical research, including major investments in trophic factor research, the pursuit of a Parkinson’s biomarker, and clinical trials exploring novel neuroprotective and gene therapy approaches.

Prior to starting the Foundation, Michael J. Fox’s work as an actor in such television shows as “Family Ties” and “Spin City,” as well as the “Back to the Future” movie trilogy, garnered him four Emmy® awards, four Golden Globe® awards, a GQ Man of the Year Award, two Screen Actor's Guild Awards®, and a People's Choice Award.

Following his keynote, Mr. Fox will be joined by Deborah W. Brooks, president and CEO of The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, and Gene Johnson, PhD, the Foundation’s Chief Scientific Advisor, for a panel discussion on the topic.

The keynote and question-and-answer session will be among the more than 200 educational sessions during this year's International Convention. The Convention is the world’s largest gathering of constituents in the biotechnology industry, with the 2006 meeting attracting nearly 20,000 attendees from 62 countries. This year, more than 1,700 companies will be represented, reflecting every aspect of the biotechnology industry, including food and agriculture, industry and energy, drug development, and policy. The Convention will also house 200,000 square feet of exhibition space, featuring pavilions from more than 70 different countries, states, companies and academic institutions.

Advance media registration for the BIO International Convention is now available online. Registration is complimentary for credentialed members of the news media. To register, please visit www.bio2007.org/Media. Reporters and editors working full-time for print or broadcast news organizations may register on site with valid media credentials. All freelancers, college and online publications are strongly encouraged to register in advance by Friday, April 20, 2007.

About BIO

Founded in 1993, BIO represents more than 1,100 biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations across the United States and 31 other nations. BIO members are involved in the research and development of health-care, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology products.

About the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research

Founded in 2000, The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research is dedicated to ensuring the development of a cure for Parkinson’s disease within this decade through an aggressively funded research agenda. The Foundation has funded over $90 million in research to date, either directly or through partnerships. For more information visit the Foundation’s Web site, www.michaeljfox.org.

Upcoming BIO Events


2007 World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology and Bioprocessing
March 21-24
Orlando, FL

BIO International Convention
May 6-9, 2007
Boston, MA

BIO VentureForum-East 2007
June 18-20, 2007
Montreal, Canada

BIO Mid-America VentureForum 2007
Sep. 24–26, 2007
Milwaukee, WI


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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.