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#BIO2018 Makes History in Boston

June 7, 2018

“We believe that because of the work that’s been done and the work that will be done moving forward, anything is possible.” – Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker at BIO

What a history-making week in Boston! A whopping 18,289 U.S. and international attendees – the most in the last 10 years – joined us in the epicenter of the biotechnology industry for four days of inspiring programming, 46, 916 partnering meetings (setting a new Guinness World Record for “The Largest Business Partnering Event”!) and entertainment (thanks Diana Ross!). 

In celebration of our 25th anniversary, we reflected on the incredible progress of the last 25 years and the innovations making history today and still to come. We were also joined throughout the week by trailblazers of our past and future, including:

  • Ashanthi De Silva, the first patient in the world to receive gene therapy, who joined BIO President and CEO Jim Greenwood on stage – more than 25 years since her brave procedure – to receive the first-ever BIO History Award.

  • 15 student winners of the 2018 BioGENEius Challenge – the premier competition for high school students from across the globe – who were recognized for their outstanding research and innovation in biotechnology. This year, finalists came from across the U.S., Canada and Germany.

  • Celebrities including award-winning journalist Robin Roberts and actor, director and advocate Rob Reiner, who shared stories of triumph over cancer and addiction

BIO 2018 was the launching pad for several exciting new ventures, partnerships and awards.

  • U.S. Health and Human Services announced a new initiative authorized by the 21st Century Cures Act that will accelerate cutting-edge health technology aimed at health security challenges like early detection of illness and sepsis.

  • Executives from Johnson & Johnson and Boston University announced a significant new alliance to drive forward a vision of a world without lung cancer.

  • BIO awarded the first-ever Henri A. Termeer Biotechnology Visionary Award – created in honor of the late Genzyme CEO – to Dr. Sue Desmond-Hellmann, CEO of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Dr. Desmond-Hellmann also joined Dr. Penny Heaton, CEO of the Bill & Melinda Gates Medical Research Institute (MRI) for a fireside chat to discuss the launch of the Gates MRI and its potential to advance the development of essential products to help the world’s poorest populations.

This year’s educational programming was also more robust and diverse than ever before with more than 180 educational sessions, including brand new tracks on genome editing, opioids and corporate best practices.

It was a week full of insightful debates and conversation, new partnerships forged, and a path paved for more history-making breakthroughs to come. We thank all of our attendees, sponsors, media, and the city of Boston for a truly engaging Convention.  We are already looking forward to next year: BIO 2019 in Philadelphia from June 3-6. See you there!

Videos highlights of BIO 2018 can be found here.

Access the Virtual Attendee Package to view a recording of this session and other top BIO 2018 educational content.