(WASHINGTON, D.C.) September 17, 2001 - Toronto, Ontario, will be the host city for the world's largest biotechnology conference, June 9-12, 2002. The 16th annual International Biotechnology Convention and Exhibition, BIO 2002, will be held at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

"We are looking forward to bringing BIO 2002 to Toronto," said BIO President Carl B. Feldbaum. "The growth of the Canadian biotechnology industry, coupled with the enthusiasm generated by BIO 2001, indicates that BIO 2002 may be the most successful biotech industry conference to date. Holding this meeting in Canada also allows us to demonstrate how 'international' our industry has become."

In 1994, BIO's first convention in Canada attracted 2,000 registrants, while last June's BIO 2001 in San Diego shattered all previous attendance records with almost 14,000 registrants from 44 nations.

Canada is second only to the U.S. in the number of biotech companies, with 361 companies and approximately 63,000 employees. The Canadian biotech industry enjoyed revenues of $1.9 billion in 1999 - a 25 percent increase in just one year.

Two leaders of Canada's successful biotech industry will help plan BIO 2002. Mark Lievonen, president of Aventis Pasteur in Toronto, and Lorne Meikle, president and CEO of BioCatalyst Yorkton, Inc., in Toronto, will chair the BIO 2002 steering committee and executive committee, respectively.

Speaker applications are available on BIO's Web site, Registration information and program updates will be available on the site in the near future.

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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