State, Federal Leaders, and Cabinet Members Eye Promise of Biotech at BIO 2003 in Washington, D.C.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 9, 2003) —With biotechnology currently surging on Wall Street, state and federal officials will be coming in record numbers to BIO 2003 — the Biotechnology Industry Organization's (BIO's) annual meeting June 22-25 at the Washington, D.C. convention center — to learn how to optimize biotech’s promise for business development and in our everyday lives.

Since Jan. 1, biotechnology's standing on the major market indexes has risen following Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of several biotech cancer drugs and the recent release of promising clinical data for certain biotech medicines in various stages of development. Today, more than 370 biotechnology medicines are in late-stage clinical development for such serious conditions as osteoporosis, lupus, stroke, HIV and cystic fibrosis.

With many states under a financial crunch, state leaders and business development executives will be coming to BIO 2003 to showcase their potential in an effort to recruit biotech industry to their regions. Among the states whose governors will be in attendance at BIO 2003: Delaware, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin.

Additionally, representatives from 31 state biotech organizations will be on hand at the meeting, and 17 states will have featured "state pavilions" highlighting their incentives to attract biotech industry and, in some cases, successful biotech activity already underway in their areas of the United States.

Recognizing the value of biotech in our everyday lives, federal regulators, legislators and their staffs will also be coming to BIO 2003 to learn about the science behind biotech and to speak about the regulatory issues that influence its progress in the areas of medicine, food and agriculture, industrial and environmental processes and biodefense.

Top regulatory and agency officials are expected to speak during the meeting, including Tom Ridge, Department of Homeland Security secretary; Don Evans, Department of Commerce secretary; Mark B. McClellan, FDA commissioner; Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institutes of Health's (NIH's) National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; and Anthony Williams, Washington, D.C. mayor. Other representatives from the FDA, the NIH, the Department of Commerce, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, as well as key legislative staffers will also be presenting during BIO 2003.

BIO 2003 will feature 25 programming tracks with 940 speakers covering 199 sessions and symposiums on policy, business development, science and regulatory affairs and forums on bioethics, global health and patient advocacy.

BIO's annual meeting and convention has grown enormously since the organization's formation in 1993, with 47 percent of the attendance growth occurring in the past few years. The meeting has also become global in scope; BIO 2002, which was held in Toronto, Canada, featured attendees from 52 countries and marked the first time that U.S. registrants were a minority at the meeting.

More than 15,000 biotechnology industry executives, scientists, legislators, regulatory officials and journalists are expected to attend BIO 2003. For the estimated 500 journalists who will be attending, BIO will have available a working media room, a TV studio and two press conference rooms. Registration for approved, credentialed media is complimentary, and is available online until June 13 at After June 13, journalists will have to register onsite to attend BIO 2003.

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.