BIO Introduces Financial Community to Industrial Biotechnology

Washington, D.C. (January 22, 2003) - Wall Street analysts and investors will get their first glimpse of the multibillion-dollar industrial biotechnology sector and how it is revolutionizing manufacturing during the Jan. 23 “Third Wave in Biotechnology” briefing conducted by the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) at the New York Academy of Sciences in New York City.

Although industrial biotechnology - the technology’s “third wave” - is still in its infancy, its market potential is already vast and rapidly growing. McKinsey & Co. estimates that industrial biotechnology will be worth more than $100 billion by 2010.

“Industrial biotechnology is transforming the way we manufacture a wide variety of industrial and consumer goods. Most importantly, it is doing so in a way that creates significant environmental benefits,” said BIO President Carl B. Feldbaum. “If more companies adopt this technology in the future, industrial biotechnology could reduce pollution more than all of the command and control regulations currently in place.”

While it has been widely publicized how biotechnology has used genomics, proteomics and bioinformatics to revolutionize medicine, food and agriculture during the past decade, it is not widely known that the same technologies are being applied today to nature’s most abundant crops to create environmentally sound fuels, chemicals and consumer materials.

Consumers are already enjoying products created through bio-based processes. For example:

  • Bio-based plastic derived from corn sugar has been used to produce clothing, carpeting, bedding, upholstery, automobile parts, candy wrappers and cups;
  • High-fructose corn syrup – the key sweetener in soft drinks - is made with the help of enzymes;
  • Proteases, which are enzymes that remove protein impurities such as food and grass stains, are key components of modern laundry detergents; and
  • Enzymes are used to create the faded appearance of jeans, replacing earlier fabric-weakening processes.

During Thursday’s half-day briefing on industrial biotech, panelists will address the following topics:

  • How the industrial application of life sciences is supporting the needs of advancing society;
  • The use of advanced genomic and proteomic applications to create novel consumer and performance materials;
  • The current state of industrial biotechnology and what lies ahead; and
  • The substantial business indicators and market opportunities for industrial biotechnology processes and products.

“This first-ever industrial biotech briefing for the financial community is a watershed event that signals some real reasons to be optimistic about this technology and its role in economic development,” said Brent Erickson, vice president of BIO’s industrial and environmental section. “Advances in genomics and proteomics are allowing us to achieve the dreams of the bio-based products pioneer, George Washington Carver.”

The “Third Wave in Biotechnology” briefing is being sponsored in part by NASDAQ, Cooley Godward, Genencor International and others.

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.