Toronto to Host World's Premier Biotechnology Conference

WASHINGTON, D.C. (December 6, 2001) – The 16th annual International Biotechnology Convention and Exhibition, BIO 2002, will be held June 9-12 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre in Toronto, Ontario.

“We are indeed pleased to bring BIO 2002 to Toronto,” said Biotechnology Industry Organization President Carl B. Feldbaum. “The growth of Canadian biotechnology, coupled with record-breaking attendance at BIO 2001 in San Diego, gives us a lot of energy and momentum, which means that this meeting may be the most significant biotech industry conference ever.”

BIO 2002 will feature more than 100 panels and workshops on drug development, food and agriculture, regulatory processes, and bioethics. “The conference offers an unparalleled opportunity for media to discover just how deeply biotechnology is already improving our daily lives,” said Feldbaum.

Canada is second only to the United States in the number of its biotech companies, with 358 companies and revenues of nearly C$2 billion in 1999.

Representatives from across Canada – Vancouver to Nova Scotia – are involved
in the planning and production of this meeting. The steering committee co-chairs are: Mark Lievonen, president of Aventis Pasteur, and Lorne Meikle, president and CEO of BioCatalyst Yorkton, Inc. In addition, Mark Craig of Industry Canada in Nova Scotia chairs the exhibits committee, and Janet Lambert of BIOTECanada in Ottawa is on the executive committee.

BIO’s 1994 convention in Toronto attracted 2,000 attendees. Since then, the conference has grown each year, leading to a record-shattering turnout of 14,000 in San Diego for BIO 2001. International attendance jumped 40 percent for BIO 2001, which attracted registrants from 44 nations. There were 930 exhibit booths and more than 600 media representatives.

Media registration for BIO 2002 is complimentary to press members with appropriate credentials. Procedures for media registration will be announced in January 2002.

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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