BIO VentureForum West To Showcase 130 of Biotech Industry’s Most Promising Companies

WASHINGTON, D.C. (August 13, 2003) — The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) today announced that it will host BIO VentureForum West 2003 — the leading investor conference for life science companies seeking seed, early- and late-stage equity funding - at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco, October 14-16, 2003.

The BIO VentureForum West 2003 advisory board will screen and select 130 biotechnology companies seeking private funding. Those companies will present their business plans to an international audience of top venture capital firms, investment funds and angel investors.

In addition to company presentations, BIO VentureForum West 2003 will feature a series of workshops on financing, drug development, commercialization strategies, mergers and acquisitions, and other issues of concern to biotech entrepreneurs and executives.

The 2002 BIO VentureForum showcased 120 companies from around the world and resulted in venture capital investment totaling approximately $500 million. This year's event comes during an upturn in investor interest in young companies. According to PricewaterhouseCoopers' MoneyTree Survey, venture capital investments across all industries totaled $4.3 billion in the second quarter of 2003, with 14 percent of that going to biotechnology companies. Further, investment in early-stage companies increased significantly to $956 million during the second quarter of 2003, up from the $668 million in investment recorded during the previous fiscal quarter - the first such increase in three years.

"Venture capital investment nationwide has grown for the first time in more than three years – perhaps signaling that the drought in funding for emerging companies is ending," said Morrie Ruffin, BIO's vice president for business development and emerging companies. “BIO VentureForum West will give biotechnology companies seeking equity and investors an ideal venue to network, identify opportunities for collaboration, and educate the investment community on the wealth of exciting new business ideas and technologies in the health-care sector."

The BIO VentureForum West 2003 advisory board, which is composed of the industry's most renowned scientists, venture capitalists, business leaders and private investors, will select the presenting companies based on applications and business plans. Those companies will then participate in regional "boot camps" prior to the forum, where they will be coached by a team of financial and business professionals on how to effectively communicate their business plans to investors.

BIO VentureForum West 2003 Advisory Board members include representatives from Abingworth Management, Agilent Technologies, Alloy Ventures, Alta Partners, A.M. Pappas & Associates, BioAsia Investments, CalPERS, Delphi Ventures, Domain Associates, Equity4Health, Frazier Healthcare Ventures, InterWest Partners, Johnson & Johnson Development Corp., JP Morgan Partners, Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers, MPM Capital, NeuroVentures Capital, Pacific Growth Equities, Perseus-Soros BioPharmaceutical Fund, ProQuest Investments, Prospect Venture Partners, Quaker BioVentures, Skyline Ventures, TVM Techno Venture Management, Vector Fund Management, Versant Ventures and Warburg Pincus.

Companies initially selected to present include Acceptys, Inc., Acologix, Inc., Acumen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Aderis Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Agensys, Inc., AlgoRx Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Altea Therapeutics Corp., Angiogenix, Inc., Array BioPharma Inc., Arriva Pharmaceuticals, Inc., ARYx Therapeutics, Inc., Bayhill Therapeutics, Inc. Bioenvision, Inc., BioGenex Laboratories, Inc., Bionaut Pharmaceuticals, Inc., BioRexis Pharmaceutical Corporation, BioVex Limited, CancerVax Corporation, Celator Technologies, Inc. Cellerant Therapeutics, Inc., Cerylid Biosciences Ltd., ChemoCentryx, Inc., CombinatoRx, Inc. Conforma Therapeutics Corporation, Elixir Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Eunoe, Inc., GeneCraft, Inc., Genteric, Inc., GlobeImmune, Inc., ImaRx Therapeutics, Inc., Inologic, Inc., Kémia, Inc., KeyCell Therapeutics Inc., Lipocine, Inc., Lipomics Technologies, Inc., Massie Laboratories, Inc., Maxcyte, Inc., MDS Proteomics, Inc., MediciNova, Inc., Mercury Therapeutics, Inc., MicroIslet Inc., Nephros Therapeutics, Inc., Neurogenetics Inc., Plexxikon Inc., Protiva Biotherapetuics Inc., Quorex Pharmaceuticals, Raven biotechnologies, Inc., Salmedix, Inc., Sirna Therapeutics, Inc., Structural GenomiX, Inc., VasoGenix Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and Ventria Bioscience Inc.

In addition to BIO, VentureForum West partners include the National Venture Capital Association, BIOCOM/San Diego, the Bay Area Bioscience Center and the California Healthcare Institute. For more information about BIO VentureForum West, please visit

Based on the past success of the VentureForum meetings, BIO will host its first VentureForum East conference in Philadelphia, November 17-19. Details about this meeting will be forthcoming, but for initial information, please see

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.