Inaugural Event to Showcase Biotechnology Investment Opportunities at BIO Mid-America VentureForum Conference

WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 6, 2003)—The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) in collaboration with eight Midwestern states and the Midwestern Health Investment Syndicate (30 major venture healthcare investors in the Midwest) will highlight the area’s biotechnology scene to venture capitalists at the Mid-America VentureForum Conference at the Hotel Inter-Continental in Chicago, April 3-4.

The aim of this event is to create funding and investment opportunities for start-up biotech entrepreneurs and seed stage investors in the Midwest life sciences arena. The states involved in this collaboration include Iowa, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio and Wisconsin.

The conference will feature presentations by 70 companies, including leading life science firms in the Midwest and 20 other healthcare companies from around the country. The companies were selected through a screening process that included the Midwestern Health Investment Syndicate and industry experts from the eight participating states.

VentureForum will also feature workshops focusing on partnering opportunities within the biotech field as well as new advancements in the fields of science. Highlighting the conference will be two plenary sessions on the major issues influencing investment decisions in the industry. “Financing Life Sciences Companies in Difficult Times” and “The Future of Drug and Product Development: Can We Get Better Products to the Market Faster?” will feature prominent panelists from both the science and business sides of biotech. The second panel will include, Robert Shapiro, the former CEO of Monsanto, and heads of research and licensing from the major pharmaceutical firms in the Midwest.

In addition to the plenary sessions, attendees will hear from several important keynote speakers, including Steve Holtzman, president and CEO of Infinity Pharmaceuticals and Dr. Stephen Oesterle, senior vice president for medicine and technology at Medtronic.

Press registration is complimentary for credentialed news media. Advance registration is available until April 1. To register, please visit Only reporters and editors working full-time for print, or broadcast news organizations may register onsite with valid media credentials.

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.

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