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BIO 2006 in Chicago Surpasses Records

BIO 2006 in Chicago Surpasses Records

WASHINGTON (April 14, 2006) – Former U.S. President Bill Clinton, Health and Human Services Secretary Michael O. Leavitt, an ethanol-fueled race car, and the world's largest indoor cornfield boosted attendance at BIO 2006 to a record 19,479 attendees from 62 countries. The 14th Annual International Convention of the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) closed Wednesday in Chicago with keynotes from actor Bernie Mac and award-winning journalist Neil Cavuto, capping a week of business meetings, educational sessions and networking opportunities with luminaries from the disparate worlds of science, health, politics, and business.

“BIO 2006 was a spectacular success. The convergence of health, food and agriculture, and industrial and environmental biotechnology created a fantastic opportunity for the biotech industry to show the many ways it is innovating to cure and prevent disease, alleviate hunger, and improve the environment,” said Jim Greenwood, BIO’s President and CEO. “I want to personally thank Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, Illinois Director of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Jack Lavin, our sponsors, Midwest hosts, volunteers, and the Chicago Police Department.”

In addition to Clinton, Leavitt, Mac, and Cavuto, BIO 2006 attracted high-caliber plenary speakers including former director of the Central Intelligence Agency R. James Woolsey; NBA legend Earvin “Magic” Johnson; and industry leaders James C. Mullen, President and CEO of Biogen Idec Inc.; Miles D. White, Chairman and CEO of Abbott; David Beier, Senior Vice President, Global Government Affairs of Amgen Inc.; Julie McHugh, President of Centocor and Robert L. Parkinson, Jr., Chairman, CEO and President of Baxter Healthcare Corporation.

A record-breaking number of business leaders met, negotiated and exchanged ideas this year in the business forum. More than 4,260 people representing 1,476 companies entered the doors of the business forum and participated in a record 11,018 meetings.

The exhibit hall at BIO 2006 was the largest gathering of biotechnology exhibitors in history, encompassing more than 1,700 companies, organizations, and institutions representing every aspect of the biotechnology industry. Within 176,000 net square feet of exhibit space, the exhibit hall housed the cornfield, an Indy Racing League racecar and driver, and exhibitors from 43 states and 36 nations.

Nearly one-third of the attendees were international participants, with more than 1,000 joining us from Canada, and hundreds more from the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Australia, Japan, and South Korea.

Twelve governors attended BIO 2006 including Host Governor Rod Blagojevich (Ill.), Bob Riley (Ala.), Jeb Bush (Fla.), Mitch Daniels (Ind.), Kathleen Sebelius (Kan.), Ernie Fletcher (Ky.), Mitt Romney (Mass.), Jennifer Granholm (Mich.), Matt Blunt (MO), Bob Taft (Ohio), Anibal Acevedo-Vila (PR), and Jim Doyle (Wis.).

Next year the BIO International Convention will be held in Boston May 6-9, 2007 with the theme of “Science Converges. Business Emerges.”

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.