Emerging Companies to Discuss New Trends in Cancer Research at BIO 2005 Media Brunch

WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 17, 2005) -- “Treating Cancer: New Approaches from Emerging Companies” will be the theme of the Biotechnology Industry Organization’s (BIO) media brunch on Sunday, June 19, which kicks off BIO 2005 in Philadelphia.

The American Cancer Society estimates that nearly 1.4 million new cases of cancer will be diagnosed in the United States in 2005. Cancer is the second-leading cause of death in this country; more than 570,000 patients will die from it this year. Today, there are 29 biotech drugs on the market for the treatment of a wide variety of cancers, and more are expected in the future.

Small and emerging biotech companies offer some of the most exciting new approaches to cancer treatment and prevention, such as monoclonal antibodies, immunotherapies, gene therapy, vaccines, and small-molecule regulators of cell-signaling pathways. Join us to hear experts from small and emerging biotech companies discuss what new treatments for cancer may come from biotechnology.


Carl H. June, M.D.
The panel will be moderated by Dr. June, director of translational research programs and professor of pathology and laboratory medicine, Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute, Abramson Cancer Center, University of Pennsylvania.

Donald L. Drakeman, J.D., Ph.D.
Dr. Drakeman is president and chief executive officer of Princeton, N.J.-based Medarex, Inc., as well as chair of the New Jersey Commission on Science and Technology. Drakeman will discuss research being conducted with antibodies and immunotherapy for new cancer therapies.

Steven Friedman, M.D.
Dr. Friedman is senior vice president, biology discovery, at Wilmington, Del.-based Incyte Corporation. Friedman will share his knowledge of new EGFR signaling pathways for controlling cancer growth.

John M. Gill
Mr. Gill is president and chief executive officer of Malvern, Penn.-based Gentara Corporation. Gill will discuss new targets for inducing cell death, or apoptosis, using Smac mimetics.

Stephen A. Sherwin, M.D.
Dr. Sherwin is chairman and chief executive officer of South San Francisco-based Cell Genesys, Inc. Sherwin will discuss novel approaches to the treatment of cancer, including cancer vaccines and oncolytic virus therapies.

Date: Sunday, June 19, 2005

Time: 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Location: Rooms 204A/204B, Pennsylvania Convention Center, Philadelphia

Menu to Feature Cancer-Fighting Foods

As part of the “Treating Cancer: New Approaches from Emerging Companies” media brunch, BIO will serve a special menu highlighting foods that naturally fight cancer. Many of the ingredients on the brunch menu have also been improved through biotech research to make them virus- or pest-tolerant. The National Cancer Institute estimates that one-third of all cancer deaths may be diet-related. Although nutritionists and scientists do not understand exactly how foods can prevent and treat various cancers, they are in unanimous agreement that diets high in vegetables and fruits can reduce the risk of contracting certain cancers. If Americans simply increase fruit and vegetable consumption to at least five servings a day, cancer rates could be reduced by more than 20 percent.

Industrial Biotechnology Also Plays a Role in Preventing Cancer

Industrial biotech companies offer ways to help prevent cancer. Reducing environmental exposure to harmful chemicals is an important aspect of cancer prevention and public health protection. Industrial biotechnology uses nature’s own biocatalysts in manufacturing processes instead of toxic and cancer-causing chemicals. These biocatalysts allow for “greener” production methods that prevent the generation of hazardous waste and other harmful environmental pollutants. In addition, enzymes are being developed that help keep food fresher, and a new food processing enzyme will soon be available that will prevent the formation of the cancer-causing chemical acrylamide in baked foods.

Journalists must be pre-registered for the conference to attend. Register online at

Due to limited seating, please RSVP to Lisa Dry, BIO, at 202.962.9231 or

BIO represents more than 1,100 biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations across the United States and 31 other nations. BIO members are involved in the research and development of healthcare, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology products.