BIO VentureForum 2002 Looks At Opportunities and Challenges of Private Financing in Today’s Economy

Washington, D.C. (September 12, 2002) – The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) will host its second annual BIO VentureForum on Oct. 1-2, in San Francisco, showcasing more than 130 leading life sciences companies from around the world. The VentureForum, a premier event for both the life science and venture capital industries, will be held at the Palace Hotel and will feature leading experts from the biotechnology and financial sectors as keynote speakers and panelists.

Dr. Robert Tjian, a Howard Hughes Investigator and professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at the University of California, Berkeley, will give the keynote address at the opening lunch on Tuesday, Oct. 1. Tjian won acclaim for his pioneering research into a biochemical process called transcription, through which the genetic information stored in DNA molecules is “switched” on and off. Applying his work on gene expression, Tijan co-founded the San Francisco biotechnology company Tularik, Inc., and now serves on its Scientific Advisory Board.

George Bloom, vice president of Internet platform sales at Oracle Corporation, will provide the luncheon keynote on Wednesday, Oct. 2. Bloom has been with Oracle for more than 10 years and has a master’s in business administration from Rutgers University.

Two plenary sessions will feature leading pharmaceutical and investment executives discussing today’s economic issues. Themes and participants include:

The Future of Drug Development: Can We Develop Better Products Faster?
· Wendell Wierenga, CEO, Syrrx, Inc.
· Alan Roses, senior vice president of genetic research, GlaxoSmithKline
· Russell Howard, CEO, Maxygen, Inc.
· Brian Cunningham, president and CEO, Rigel Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
· James Karis, president and CEO, Entelos, Inc.

Private Financing in Challenging Times.
· Bill Harris, senior vice president of finance and CFO, XenoPort, Inc.
· Rod Ferguson, managing director, JP Morgan Partners
· Robert Blum, senior vice president of corporate development and CFO, Cytokinetics, Inc.
· Dan Janney, managing director, Alta Partners
· Mark McDade, CEO, Signature BioSciences, Inc.
· Chris Ehrlich, senior associate, Interwest Partners

For more information on BIO VentureForum 2002, please visit the Web site at Press registration is complimentary for credentialed members of the news media. Advance press registration closes on September 27. Press releases, conference updates and registration information are posted in the “Media” section of the conference Web site.

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. For more information, please visit our Web site,