Next week is the annual Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) Convention in Washington, DC. Many of our editorial team members will be there and we hope to see you. With a regulatory pathway for biosimilars underway in the United States, renewed conversations about regenerative medicine, and a booming biotech sector, the convention should be quite dynamic. Part of the program this year includes the Partnering for Global Health Forum, which takes place Monday, June 27, and is cosponsored by BIO Ventures for Global Health (BVGH).
BVGH was spun out of BIO in 2004 with the help of a Gates Foundation grant and aims to accelerate the development of novel drugs, vaccines, and diagnostics coming out of the biotechnology industry to address the unmet medical needs of the developing world [see recent article on BVGH’s work].
The day-long forum, which is followed by business and company presentations throughout the week, is meant to bring together leaders from global health, biopharmaceutical, academic, government, and donor communities in support of bio/pharmaceutical research and development for the populations that need it most. Much more attention is being paid these days to neglected, infectious, and rare diseases and the possibility of reaching lofty goals—such as the NIH and European Commission International Rare Disease Research Consortium’s goal to find a diagnostic for 200 rare diseases by the year 2020—is looking brighter.
Forum talks will address the global health value chain, R&D incentives, and funding opportunities in this regard. Additional breakout sessions will cover new products, emerging markets, and more.
NIH Director Francis Collins is the keynote speaker for the forum and will kick off the main portion of the BIO convention—be sure to look for our podcast interview with him shortly after the show. In addition to running NIH, Collins is a physician-geneticist noted for his landmark discoveries of disease genes and his leadership of the international Human Genome Project.