The Value of Partnering and Venture Capital to be Explored at BIO VentureForum East 2006

WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 1, 2006) -- The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) announced today the speakers for BIO VentureForum East 2006, scheduled June 12-14th at the Hyatt Regency on the Hudson in Jersey City, NJ.

BIO VentureForum East is the largest annual East Coast regional investor conference for venture stage biotechnology and healthcare firms. It features plenary sessions and workshops on financing and partnering trends in the biotechnology industry, networking receptions, and presentations by biotech companies which have been selected by an advisory board of leading equity capital leaders.

The plenary session from 8:30-9:45 a.m. on Tuesday, June 13th, will be a roundtable discussion on “To Partner or Not: Weighing the Value of the Deal.” Financial and biotech executives will discuss various business strategies and funding alternatives. Kevin Collins, shareholder, Corporate/VLG Practice Group, Heller Ehrman LLP, will moderate the discussion with:

· Jason Bernhard, Global Co-Head, Life Sciences Group, Lazard;

· Dan Greenleaf, President & CEO, VioQuest Pharmaceuticals, Inc.;

· Tucker Kelly, Principal, Life Sciences Investment Banking, Canaccord Adams;

· Zubin Mory, Senior Vice President, Investment Banking, Oppenheimer & Co., Inc.;

· Michael Weiser, M.D., Ph.D., Managing Director, Paramount BioCapital, Inc.

“What Excites VCs Today?” is the topic of the plenary session on Wednesday, June 14th, from 8:30-9:45 a.m. This panel will discuss the value of specific business models, partnering agreements, technologies and exit strategies in attracting healthcare venture capital investment. Todd Brady, M.D., Ph.D., Principal, Domain Associates, LLC, will moderate the discussion with:

· Roger Blevins, Pharm.D., President and CEO, Xsira Pharmaceuticals, Inc.;

· Aaron Davidson, M.B.A., Managing Director, H.I.G. Ventures;

· Chris Kroeger, M.D., Principal, Aurora Funds;

· Matthew Rieke, M.D., Partner, Quaker BioVentures.

Mervyn Turner, Ph.D., Senior Vice President of Worldwide Licensing & External Research for Merck Research Laboratories, will deliver Tuesday’s keynote luncheon address entitled "Opportunities for Early Stage Companies to Partner with Big Pharma."

On Wednesday, Michael J. Valentino, President and CEO of Adams Respiratory Therapeutics, Inc., will deliver the luncheon keynote entitled “The Transformation From VC-backed Firm to Public Entity.”

For more information about BIO VentureForum East, please visit .

Registration is complimentary for credentialed members of the news media. Advance media registration is available online through 5pm EST on June 5th at . Reporters and editors working full-time for print or broadcast news organizations may also register onsite with valid media credentials.

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.