Translational Research Forum to Explore Philanthropy and Drug Development At 2007 BIO International Convention

WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 13, 2007) -- Translational research and the individuals who help to support it will be a major highlight of the Sunday programming at the 2007 Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) International Convention.

The Medical Foundation and NIH Translational Research Forum, which will take place on May 6, 2007 at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center in Boston, Massachusetts, will provide a full day’s worth of programming focusing on the importance of translational research to diseases such as Parkinson’s, juvenile diabetes, and cystic fibrosis.

The 2007 BIO International Convention, the global event for biotechnology, will bring more than 20,000 global biotechnology industry leaders and government officials to the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center May 6-9 in Boston, Massachusetts.

“This program puts a very important focus on the groups that ultimately benefit from our industry’s progress,” stated Jim Greenwood, president and CEO of BIO. “The Forum will provide an opportunity for medical foundation leaders to meet with researchers and discuss the steps necessary to assure continued progress for patients.”

The Medical Foundation and NIH Translational Research Forum will begin its program with a welcome and introduction from Forum co-chairs and sponsors Lesa Mitchell, vice president, Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, and Emer Leahy, Ph.D., president and CEO, PsychoGenics Inc., who will discuss the relationship between medical research foundations and the biotechnology industry.

“Foundations can play a unique role in advancing research and spurring dialogue on issues of importance to society,” said Mitchell. “They are frequently at the forefront of big issues, working tirelessly to solve them by offering both the financial and human capital needed to make meaningful, transformative change. We’re pleased to be a part of this process as it relates to translational research.”

“PsychoGenics welcomes the opportunity to join the Kauffman Foundation as a sponsor of the Forum,” added Leahy. “Foundation-driven medical research is a significant activity at PsychoGenics, and we are looking forward to sharing our experiences with the greater biotechnology community, and showcasing the creative funding approaches and collaborations established by foundations in the search for treatments to unmet medical needs.”

The programming will include a keynote speech from Scott Johnson, president and founder, Myelin Repair Foundation, and three panel sessions titled:

Philanthropic-Driven Drug Discovery – Moderated by Robi Blumenstein, senior advisor, High Q Foundation (Huntington Disease), panelists will discuss business models and strategic directions, funding mechanisms, and partnering opportunities and challenges with examples of foundation-supported discovery collaborations with biotechnology companies and universities.

Foundation Supported Pre-Clinical and Clinical Development - Moderated by Gerald J. Siuta, Ph.D., consultant, Business Development, Global Alliance for TB Drug Development, this panel will delve into drug development funding, integrating biotech and academia in the drug development process, specific research interests, and examples of foundation-supported drug development programs with biotechnology companies.

NIH Funding of Translational Research - Moderated by Greg Simon, president, FasterCures, Former Chief Domestic Policy Advisor to Vice President Al Gore, will feature a panel of top NIH officials who will explore new strategies at the NIH for funding and accelerating drug development.

Panel participants will include representatives from such foundations as Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, the Michael J. Fox Foundation, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, The Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Association, The Spinal Muscular Atrophy Foundation, and many others. The Forum will conclude with a Summary and Wrap Up by Philip N. Sussman, managing partner, The Channel Group, LLC, and Co-Chair of the Translational Research Forum.

“Past Forums focused on the process of translating research from academic institutions to commercial entities,” said Sussman. “This year, the emphasis is on the funding of translational research. All the foundations represented in the Forum have provided research funding to biotechnology companies and academic institutions.”

In addition to the foundations represented on Forum panels, many other foundations will have representatives available during networking sessions at the Forum. Foundations who have confirmed their participation in the Forum’s networking sessions include the Parkinson’s Action Network, Children’s Tumor Foundation, Families of SMA, Fragile X Foundation, Huntington’s Diseases Association of America, Autism Speaks, International Aids Vaccine Initiative, Dystonia Medical Research Foundation, National Organization of Rare Diseases (NORD), Sturge Weber Foundation, Foundation Fighting Blindness, and the Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance.

For more information on this event, please visit Space is limited, and participation will be granted on a first-come, first served basis.

This year’s BIO International Convention, themed “New Ideas. Bold Ventures. Global Benefits,” will feature a program packed with more than 200 sessions and speakers focusing on the global aspects of biotechnology, including business development, global health, clinical research/clinical trials, policy, bioethics, devices and diagnostics, biopreparedness, intellectual property/legal, food and agriculture, and industrial and environmental issues. International seminars will spotlight national-level developments from more than 30 countries and regions worldwide. To view the full conference program, please visit

General registration for the BIO International Convention is now available at For more information about the global event for biotechnology, including housing and program updates, please visit the event homepage at

Advance media registration for the BIO International Convention is now available online. Registration is complimentary for credentialed members of the news media. To register, please visit Reporters and editors working full-time for print or broadcast news organizations may register onsite with valid media credentials. All freelancers, college and online publications are strongly encouraged to register in advance by Friday, April 27, 2007.

About BIO

BIO represents more than 1,100 biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations across the United States and 31 other nations. BIO members are involved in the research and development of healthcare, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology products.

Upcoming BIO Events

BIO International Convention
May 6-9, 2007
Boston, MA

BIO VentureForum-East 2007

June 18-20, 2007

Montreal, Canada

BIO Mid-America VentureForum 2007

Sep. 24–26, 2007
Milwaukee, WI