Opportunity Knocks for Biotechnology Companies at BIO Mid-America VentureForum 2003

WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 11, 2003)— The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) today announced the list of start-up companies searching for private equity funding that will have the opportunity to interact with venture capitalists and investors at the upcoming BIO Mid-America VentureForum 2003 at the Hotel Inter-Continental in Chicago, April 3-4.

The event will facilitate networking among senior executives from venture capital firms, biotechnology companies and professional service firms seeking new partnerships and other beneficial relationships on a national scale. In addition, 70 biotechnology companies from 15 states and Canada will have the opportunity to present their business plans.

Past BIO events have led to hundreds of millions of dollars in private equity investment in biotechnology companies. BIO state associations from Iowa, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio and Wisconsin are co-hosting the event. The Midwest Health Investment Syndicate, a collection of the 30 leading healthcare investors in the Midwest, assisted with the selection process.

“The Mid-America VentureForum reflects the continuing interest and commitment from the venture capital community in the biotechnology industry,” said Morrie Ruffin, BIO vice president for business development and emerging companies. “This meeting is a tremendous opportunity for start-up biotechnology companies, and we are pleased to have an event dedicated to the Midwest, a region that is growing as a center of biotech activity.”

Companies were selected based on a review of their market opportunities, competitive advantage, management experience, intellectual property and exit strategy by an advisory board composed of the industry’s most renowned technologists, venture capitalists, business leaders and private investors.

In addition to the presentations, BIO Mid-America VentureForum will feature a series of workshops on financing, mergers and acquisitions, commercialization strategies and other issues of concern to biotech entrepreneurs.

Past BIO VentureForums have showcased companies from around the world and resulted in venture capital investment totaling $400 million. Research by Ernst & Young showed that despite downturns in technology investing generally, the biotech industry raised more than $10 billion in equity financing in the United States and Europe in 2001 – its second-best year.

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.

Companies selected to present at the conference are:


Acumen Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Advanced Life Sciences, Inc.

Afmedica, Inc.

ApoImmune, Inc.

Aptamera, Inc.

Asterand, Inc.

Athersys, Inc.

Automated Cell, Inc.

Auxeris Therapeutics, Inc.

Barbeau Pharma, Inc.

Barrier Therapeutics, Inc.

BioMimetic Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Blizzard Genomics, Inc.

CardioEnergetics, Inc.

Chromatin Inc.

ComChem Technologies, Inc.

Conjugon, Inc.

Cue Biotech

Diagnostic Hybrids, Inc.

DiaMedica Inc.

Discovery Genomics, Inc.

Divergence, Inc.


EraGen Biosciences, Inc.

First Genetic Trust, Inc.

Gala Design, Inc.

GeneOhm Sciences

HandyLab, Inc.

Imalux Corporation

iMEDD, Inc.

Immunicon Corporation

Integrated Sensing Systems (ISSYS)

Islet Technology, Inc.

Isto Technologies, Inc.

MaxCyte, Inc.

Medisyn Technologies, Inc.


MithraGen, Inc.


Nanosphere, Inc.

Neuronautics, Inc.

NewLink Genetics Corporation

Novactyl, Inc.

Nyxis Neurotherapies, Inc.

OpGen Inc.

Optosonics, Inc.

Orion Genomics, LLC

PanCel Corporation

PharmaIn, Ltd.

Phytodyne, Inc.

ProteoPlex, Inc.

Quick Study Radiology

Rubicon Genomics

SLIL Biomedical Corp.

Stratatech Corporation

Structural Bioinformatics Inc.

Symbiontics, Inc.

Target Discovery, Inc.

Velcura Therapeutics, Inc.

Zassi Medical Evolutions, Inc.

ZelleRx Corp