The 2010 Mid-Atlantic Bio today completed another successful conference hosting more than 728 registrants from 22 states and 4 countries, with more than 400 companies and 50 qualified investors participating. Dedicated to promoting the biotechnology industry in the Mid-Atlantic region, the conference is hosted collectively by the region’s most influential bioscience and investor associations, the Mid-Atlantic Venture Association (MAVA), the Tech Council of Maryland/MdBio (MdBio) and the Virginia Biotechnology Association (VaBIO).
The final day of the conference featured a joint plenary with the leaders of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) and Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO). During this plenary session, John Castellani, president and CEO of PhRMA, and James Greenwood, president and CEO of BIO discussed the challenges posed by the disconnect in public understanding of the impact of the bioscience industry from a policy standpoint. Castellani stressed the urgency of addressing these issues by citing a recent public survey which indicated that the cost of treating Alzheimer’s in America would reach a trillion dollars by 2015. He also noted another national survey in which 57% of Americans rated IT as being more important than bioscience which was one indicator of the importance of education about the industry.
The event came to a close with a packed plenary session featuring John F. Crowley, chairman and CEO of Amicus Therapeutics. He shared his amazing story about the development of a treatment for Pompe disease after both his children were diagnosed with the fatal neuromuscular disorder. The Crowley family's journey to save their children is the inspiration for the 2010 major motion picture, "Extraordinary Measures", starring Harrison Ford and Brendan Fraser. Crowley spoke on the heels of an announcement made earlier today that GlaxoSmithKline and Amicus Therapeutics entered an exclusive worldwide agreement to develop and commercialize Amigal™ for Fabry Disease, resulting in $170 m in potential milestone payments.
This year’s conference also featured individuals from 26 companies who were selected to present in the Showcase track, Emerging Growth track and a newly added First Look/Fast Pitch track. The companies chosen specialize in medical devices, health care IT, diagnostics, drug development, pharmaceuticals, biotherapeutics, biopharmaceuticals, therapeutics and gene therapeutics.
“This year’s conference was a particularly impactful event given the many luminary speakers, the strong connections that were made, and business that was conducted,” says Julia Spicer, executive director of the Mid-Atlantic Venture Association (MAVA). “This event was a great kick-off in preparation for the region hosting the 2011 BIO International Convention next year.”
“Given the challenging economic climate the past few years, we’re fortunate to have such a strong turnout for our event yet again this year. We were pleased to bring the community together in the Mid-Atlantic region and are also extremely thankful to our sponsors and exhibitors for their strong support of our event,” said Richard A. Zakour, PhD, executive director of The Tech Council of Maryland/MdBio.
ABOUT MID-ATLANTIC BIO
The Mid-Atlantic Bio Conference, scheduled October 27-29, 2010, in Bethesda, Md., is co-hosted by the Tech Council of Maryland/MdBio (TCM/MdBio), the Mid-Atlantic Venture Association (MAVA), and the Virginia Biotechnology Association (VaBIO). Mid-Atlantic Bio benefits from broad regional support from the investor and greater business communities, academic institutions, government agencies, and partnering regional associations. For more information, please visit www.midatlanticbio.org.