RICHMOND, Va., Sept. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- The Virginia Biotechnology Summit, the annual meeting of the Virginia Biotechnology Association (VaBIO), will be held at the McLean Hilton Hotel on October 12-13, 2004. The Summit will feature more than twenty sessions on topics such as biodefense, medical devices, federal funding opportunities, gene therapy, intellectual property, product liability issues, bioinformatics, nanotechnology, venture capital and regulatory challenges at the FDA. The featured speaker is Dr. Bert Adelman, executive vice president of Biogen-Idec, who will provide an inside view of the recent $6.4 billion merger of two of the world's largest biotechnology firms and the outlook for the bioscience industry in 2005. Biogen-Idec, the third largest biotechnology firm in the United States, expects to invest over $550 million per year in research and development, and has 1,000 R&D employees, including approximately 400 in discovery research. More than 450 are expected to attend the Summit featuring major speeches by: * Steen Riisgaard, the CEO of Copenhagen-based Novozymes A/S, the world leader in industrial enzymes and microorganisms. With about 3,900 employees in 30 countries, the company is the dominant player in the sale of industrial enzymes and microorganisms in the world today with a global market share of more than 40% in both markets. With very few exceptions, Novozymes has been behind every major discovery in the field in the last 40 years. * Also featured will be Drs. Gerald Rubin and Jeremy Levin, leaders from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the Novartis Institute for Biomedical Research, two of the largest private biomedical research institutes in the world, who will give presentations about their new multi-million dollar scientific campuses. * John Crowley, CEO of Orexigen Therapeutics and Geeta Anand of the Wall Street Journal. Mr. Crowley's emotion-packed presentation will focus on one man's personal struggle to find a cure for his children suffering from Pompe disease, a rare and fatal illness that is caused by a defective or missing enzyme. His answer? To launch a start-up pharmaceutical company devoted expressly to finding a cure for the disease. It is an amazing story that has been highlighted in the Wall Street Journal and numerous network television programs -- John Crowley borrowed money to start his biotech company, hired researchers and actually identified a promising enzyme. With his data in hand, he raised $27 million in venture capital. When it became clear that the best way to help his children would be to bring in the resources of a big company, he sold his firm to Genzyme for $137.5 million. Major sponsors include: IBM Life Sciences; Scheer Partners; the University of Virginia; Mintz Levin PC; Virginia Tech; Foley & Lardner; George Mason University; Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr; Virginia's Center for Innovative Technology; Fish and Richardson; and Virginia Commonwealth University. Registration is $239 ($159 for VaBIO members). For more information about the Summit, or to register for general attendance, please visit http://www.vabio.org, or call (540) 231-5182. About VaBIO VaBIO, the Virginia Biotechnology Association, is the 200-member statewide trade group that promotes the considerable scientific and economic impact of the life sciences industry in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The Association is headquartered at the Virginia Bio-Technology Research Park, in Richmond, Virginia. For more information, contact Mark Herzog, executive director, or visit http://www.vabio.org.
SOURCE Virginia Biotechnology Association