Biotech's Role in Improving Global Health On Tap for BIO 2004

WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 3, 2004) — The biotechnology industry is working to overcome hurdles to provide patients in the developing world with the significant medicines it has created to battle such devastating diseases as AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis.

BIO 2004, the Biotechnology Industry Organization's (BIO's) Annual International Convention, which will take place June 6-9 at San Francisco's Moscone Center, will feature a series of sessions to examine the serious global disease burden and how the biotech industry, world governments and the financial community are working together to improve patient access to life-saving medicines.

Among the global health sessions that are planned:

Incentives to Stimulate Medicine Development
Monday, June 7, 9:30 a.m.-10:45 a.m.
New financial and legislative initiatives designed to spur development of medical products designed to treat diseases with the greatest burden on developing-world populations will be discussed during an interactive roundtable.

New Money, Players and Opportunities in Global Health
Monday, June 7, 11:00 a.m.-12:15 p.m.
Research and new product development in the United States and Europe are frequently being driven by medical issues arising in the developing world forcing biotech companies, governments, and foundations to scramble for more resources. This session will highlight important new funding sources and unique approaches to vexing commercial questions like intellectual property ownership and splitting commercial markets.

New and Affordable Drugs for Developed, Developing Worlds
Monday, June 7, 2:15 p.m.-3:45 p.m.
How can biotech and pharmaceutical companies achieve a balance between competing needs for drugs for the developing world while satisfying shareholders? This session will examine how partnerships between industry, nonprofits and other public sector groups might enable companies to create and provide new drugs to the developing world without jeopardizing financial health.

Biotechnology Innovation and the Global AIDS Epidemic
Monday, June, 7, 4:00 p.m.-5:30 p.m.
HIV is a preventable and treatable medical condition. This session will highlight how the biotech industry's innovation is contributing to the fight against the global AIDS epidemic in the form of effective, tolerable and easy-to-use HIV treatments and how the industry can work with governments and other groups to contribute to HIV treatment and prevention in developing countries.

For more information about these sessions or BIO 2004, go online at Registration is complimentary for credentialed news media; however, only reporters and editors working full-time for print or broadcast news organizations will be permitted to register on-site in San Francisco. Advanced media registration ends May 24.

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.