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Media Advisory: World’s Largest Biopharmaceutical Organization to Host Two-Day Virtual Summit on Coronavirus

March 19, 2020
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BIO-Led Summit to Build Collaboration Between
Biopharma Industry, Government Leaders & Scientific Experts

Responding to the rapidly evolving COVID-19 public health crisis, the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) is taking the lead by hosting a virtual summit to help companies working on treatments, diagnostics and vaccines to come together to discuss challenges and opportunities with government officials and other stakeholders. 

The two-day summit will take place on Tuesday, March 24 and Wednesday, March 25, and will be led by BIO President and CEO Jim Greenwood and Dr. George Scangos, President and CEO of Vir Biotechnology. BIO Board Chairman Dr. Jeremy Levin, CEO of Ovid Therapeutics, appointed Dr. Scangos to oversee the BIO Coronavirus Collaboration Initiative, which is intended to help connect innovators with partners across both the industry and inside the federal government to combat the coronavirus.

The summit will include leaders from biotech and pharmaceutical companies, global academic experts in virology and immunology, and non-governmental organizations. Those invited to participate include Ambassador Deborah Birx, Dr. Robert Kadlec, and other senior leaders from key government offices, including the U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institutes of Health, and the Food and Drug Administration. Information regarding confirmed guests will be provided at a later date.

As an international trade association representing more than 700 biotechnology companies, BIO is playing a unique role in organizing and coordinating the activities of many of its companies. More than 45 member companies are working to address coronavirus and more than 20 have products in various stages of development.

“Close collaboration between America’s biopharmaceutical companies and the U.S. government is leading the global race to develop vaccines and cures to protect society from the coronavirus,” said BIO President and CEO Jim Greenwood. “Our researchers and scientists are at the forefront of this important effort, and they will answer the challenge just as they always have. This virtual summit is a critical step to helping industry leaders, government officials, and other vital partners collaborate and ultimately accelerate the development of new medicines to overcome this global threat. BIO is uniquely positioned to help drive this collaboration, and this is one step in our broader efforts to combat the coronavirus.”

“Across the biopharmaceutical industry, men and women are working tirelessly under difficult circumstances to combat the coronavirus,” said Dr. Scangos. “We are witnessing the true motivation of people in the industry – to do everything we can to bring medicines to people who need them. I am gratified to see people working incredibly hard to bring forward treatments for Covid-19 as quickly as humanly possible. I am pleased to help lead this virtual summit, which will help facilitate the collaboration and public-private partnerships necessary to treat the sick and prevent further spread of the coronavirus.”

The virtual summit will feature presentations and discussions on the latest epidemiologic developments related to the coronavirus, response work that is underway, and where critical gaps exist in current R&D and response efforts. The meeting will focus on three key areas of the response: diagnosing the virus, treating those with the virus, and preventative measures to contain further transmission of the virus.

Members of the media are invited to attend the opening plenary session, which will take place on Tuesday, March 24, from 10:00 am to 11:45 am EST. The opening session will be followed by a series of closed meetings and breakout sessions. After the event has concluded, members of the media are invited to join a conference call led by BIO President and CEO Jim Greenwood who will provide an overview of the event and discuss future actions. More details about the press call will be provided at a later date.


WHO: BIO, Industry Leaders, Senior Government Officials, and Scientific Experts
WHAT: Virtual Summit to Foster Public-Private Collaboration to Address the Coronavirus
WHEN: Tuesday, March 24 and Wednesday, March 25
WHERE: Virtual Meeting, registration required

NOTE: Members of the media who wish to join the open plenary session must register in advance by clicking here.



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