Senator Sam Brownback to Speak at Global Health Partnering Forum

                  WASHINGTON, D.C. (Wednesday, February 20, 2008) - The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) and BIO Ventures for Global Health (BVGH) are pleased to announce U.S. Senator Sam Brownback, R-Kan., will deliver the Breakfast Plenary, “Incentives to Drive Innovation,” at the Partnering for Global Health Forum 2008, to be held March 11-12 near Washington, D.C.  The conference, which is sponsored by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, will help catalyze partnerships between the global health and biopharmaceutical communities to develop the next generation of medicines to treat neglected tropical diseases. 

                   Nearly 10 million children under the age of five around the world die each year from diseases that could be prevented or treated with new vaccines and drugs.  This toll underscores the need to develop and deploy new medicines to battle these devastating neglected diseases. 

                   In recent years, alliances between global health nonprofits and industry have changed the face of global health.  They have translated basic discoveries from academic labs to accelerate the development of new drug and vaccine candidates, to treat diseases such as malaria, TB, AIDS and sleeping sickness. 

                  “New incentives are needed to harness the biotechnology industry’s skills and resources to develop new innovations,” said Dr. Christopher D. Earl, president and CEO of BVGH. “The Partnering for Global Health Forum 2008 is the opportunity to identify the challenges and address this need.” 

                   The Forum will feature an open exchange with world-renowned leaders in global health, industry, government and the donor community; opportunities to meet one-on-one with leading companies, researchers, donors and investors; presentations from innovators pursuing technologies and products applicable to diseases of the developing world; and perspectives from public and private funders supporting global health R&D.

                  “Sen. Brownback was a key advocate for an amendment creating the priority review voucher program, a new market incentive for developing medicines to treat neglected tropical diseases,” said Jim Greenwood, president and CEO of BIO.  “We’re honored to have him join us to discuss the importance of continued innovation in the field of global health.”

                   Policy and innovation in global health will be further highlighted in the panel session, “Bridging Innovation and Access: Policy's Contribution to Global Health,” with moderator Gregory M. Weinhoff, MD, Partner, CHL Medical Partners and panelists Alice Albright, CFO, GAVI Alliance; Saul Walker, UK DFID; Clement Lewin, PhD, VP, Marketing, Policy and Strategy, Acambis; Robert B. Chess, Chairman, Nektar Therapeutics; and Hannah E. Kettler, PhD, Program Officer, Global Health Initiatives, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

                  Additional panel sessions include:

·                     How Can Biotech Bridge the Global Health Innovation Gap?

·                     New Models of Collaboration

·                     Market Incentive to Pull Industry Investment: How Much Are     Priority Review Vouchers Worth to Industry?


                  For more information and to register, visit


About BVGH

BIO Ventures for Global Health (BVGH), a non-profit organization, is harnessing the resources of the biotechnology industry to create new medicines for neglected diseases of the developing world. Our mission is to break down barriers that hinder industry involvement in global health product development and to catalyze new industry investment.


About BIO

BIO represents more than 1,150 biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations across the United States and in more than 30 other nations. BIO members are involved in the research and development of innovative healthcare, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology technologies. BIO also produces the annual BIO International Convention, the world’s largest gathering of the biotechnology industry, along with industry-leading investor and partnering meetings held around the world.

Upcoming BIO Events

 ·   Partnering for Global Health  
    March 10-12, 2008
    Washington, DC

 ·   BIO-Europe Spring 
    April 7-9, 2008
    Madrid, Spain

 ·   BIO National Venture Conference 
    April 22-23, 2008
    Boston, Mass.

 ·   World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology & Bioprocessing  
    April 27-30, 2008
    Chicago, Ill.

 ·   2008 BIO International Convention 
    June 17-20, 2008
    San Diego, Calif.