BIO Selects Presenting Companies For BIO VentureForum East

WASHINGTON, D.C. (October 21, 2003) – The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), in coordination with the Greater Philadelphia Venture Group (GPVG), a venture capital association, has selected approximately 70 biotechnology companies to present to investors at the Nov. 17–19 Mid-Atlantic Venture Conference (MAVC) Featuring BIO VentureForum East.

"BIO brought BIO VentureForum to the East Coast in recognition of the Mid-Atlantic region's rich presence of emerging biotech companies," said Morrie Ruffin, BIO vice president of business development. "Joining forces with MAVC creates a one-of-a-kind opportunity for the investment community to see the brightest biotechnology entrepreneurs in the region at a single event."

The presenting companies are seeking seed, early- and late-stage funding and will present their portfolios and platforms to an international audience of biotechnology experts and equity capital leaders at the event, which will take place at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia.

BIO VentureForun East kicks off with a reception on November 17, followed by two full days of company presentations, executive workshops and plenary sessions on topics of interest to the biotechnology community.

This is the fourth BIO VentureForum hosted by BIO, and the first held in Philadelphia. An Advisory Board formed by BIO carefully pre-screened the business and science fundamentals of the presenting biotechnology and healthcare product companies to ensure high quality deal flow.

BIO VentureForum East presenting companies come from 15 U.S. states, two Canadian provinces and the United Kingdom. The Mid-Atlantic region is well represented with 40 companies, including 21 from Pennsylvania. The following highlights seven Mid-Atlantic companies selected to present:

-- ALung Technologies, Inc., of Pittsburgh, Pa., is a medical device company developing the world's first commercial artificial lung—the Hattler Catheter, a breakthrough device that delivers oxygen to the blood and removes carbon dioxide.

-- Eagle Vision Pharmaceutical Corp., of Exton, Pa., develops novel imaging agents that identify the presence, nature and extent of disease; improve treatment planning and predict; and confirm the response to therapy.

-- Elusys Therapeutics, Inc., of Pine Brook, N.J., develops novel antibody-based therapies for the treatment of infectious diseases, autoimmune diseases, biodefense agents and cancer.

-- Gelifex, of Philadelphia, Pa., develops novel implants for use in relieving pain and restoring motion to patients suffering from degenerative disc disease of the lower back.

-- Gel Med Sciences, of Radnor, Pa., is developing transmucosal gel drug delivery technology products that improve the delivery of pharmaceuticals currently administered by injection.

-- KeyCell Therapeutics, Princeton, N.J., is developing innovative products for treating cancer and infectious diseases based on a unique technology for manipulating dendritic cells, the most critical cells for driving effective and robust immune response.

-- Neuronyx, Inc., of Malvern, Pa., is a development-stage biopharmaceutical company that discovers, develops and delivers new medicines to treat acute and chronic disease using adult bone marrow-derived stem cells.

"Southeastern Pennsylvania has an abundance of entrepreneurs creating life sciences companies that will reshape the treatment and prevention of disease in the years to come," said Barbara Schilberg, CEO of BioAdvance, and a member of the BIO VentureForum East Advisory Board. "The Advisory Board carefully screened the applicants to ensure that the investor community will have a chance to see presentations from a robust and diverse roster of biotech companies."

For more than a decade, the Mid-Atlantic Venture Conference has served as the conduit for connecting some of the most distinguished venture firms in the country with the region's telecommunications, information technology and healthcare firms. In addition to the companies featured in BIO VentureForum East, MAVC has selected 35 companies to be present to investment experts and equity capital leaders.

"With over 100 presenting companies, this year's MAVC will feature incredible networking opportunities," said Steve Goodman, Chairman of the 2003 MAVC. "There will not be a venture conference in the country this year with a more robust combination of companies, sponsors, venture investors and programs."

For more information about the 2003 Mid-Atlantic Venture Conference Featuring BIO VentureForum East, visit For more information on BIO VentureForum East, visit

About MAVC

The Mid-Atlantic Venture Conference is regarded as one of the premier venture capital events in the country. Attracting over 1,100 attendees, including an audience of 200 investors from across the region, the 2003 MAVC will expect to highlight approximately 100 Featured Companies that represent quality investment opportunities. Beyond the Featured Companies, the MAVC offers content-rich programs, dynamic speakers, lively panel discussions, and most importantly, valuable networking events. New for 2003, the MAVC will feature the Biotechnology Industry Organization's "BIO VentureForum East", which will attract the best venture-stage biotechnology companies along the East Coast. And, as always, the MAVC will feature a robust technology track, presenting exciting companies in technology areas including IT, nanotechnology and telecommunications.

About BIO

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.