Biotech Starts 2000 With a Bang

From: Eugene Leitl (
Date: Thu Jan 27 2000 - 23:51:28 MST

Biotech Starts 2000 With a Bang as Recent Gains Rival Internet Stocks;
CEO & Investor Conference to Showcase Industry to New Investors

January 21, 2000

WASHINGTON, Jan. 20 /PRNewswire/ via NewsEdge Corporation - Recent
gains in biotechnology stocks have rivaled the performance of Internet
companies, signaling renewed and expanded investor interest in the
biotechnology industry.

For the first two weeks in January, the Nasdaq Biotech Index recorded
an increase of 13.47 percent while Internet Index
registered a decrease of 4 percent.

The Biotechnology Industry Organization's (BIO) second annual CEO &
Investor Conference Feb. 15-16, 2000, in New York offers the
opportunity to meet the biotech industry's leaders. The conference at
the Waldorf Astoria will showcase a full spectrum of companies'

"Biotechnology is revolutionizing drug discovery, offering enormous
potential benefits for public health," said BIO President Carl
B. Feldbaum. "Our CEO & Investor Conference offers a close look at
companies involved in the latest research and development of drugs and
vaccines for the most life- threatening illnesses, such as heart
disease, cancer, neurological diseases and infectious diseases."

"There is a whole new element of momentum in the recent performance of
the biotech sector, sparked by the genomics and chip companies,"
remarked Dennis Purcell, managing director of Chase H&Q, more which is
one of 12 investment banks co-sponsoring the BIO conference.

"Investors have realized that genomic and information-based biotech
companies are addressing a tremendous commercial opportunity for drug
discovery technologies," Purcell noted. "There are great investment
opportunities in biotechnology for new investors."

The overall health of the biotechnology sector is strong. In 1999, 22
biotech drugs, vaccines and new indications for existing medicines
were approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. More than 350
drugs and vaccines are in late-stage clinical trials. Biotech
companies raised nearly $12 billion through public and private
financings and investments from corporate partners.

In addition, the Nasdaq Biotech Index soared 102 percent during 1999,
exceeding the 86 percent increase of the Nasdaq Composite Index, and
rivaling the 184 percent jump in the Internet Index.

About 1,200 biotech and pharmaceutical company executives, investment
experts and investors are expected to attend BIO's CEO & Investor
Conference, titled 2000 Reasons to Invest in Biotechnology. More than
180 companies will be showcased in 12 investor sessions, six CEO
roundtables and an international reception featuring 50 tabletop

The conference also will feature keynote lunch speeches by Dr. Jurgen
Drews, former president of global research and development for
F. Hoffmann-La Roche, on Feb. 15 and Dr. Judah Folkman, who discovered
the process of tumor angiogenesis, on Feb. 16.

Dr. Folkman is director of Surgical Research Laboratories at
Children's Hospital and professor of pediatric surgery and cell
biology at Harvard Medical School. His discovery of how angiogenesis
contributes to tumor growth has led to clinical testing of numerous
drug candidates aimed at preventing the formation of blood vessels
that feed cancers.

Dr. Drews is chairman of International Biomedicine Management Partners
Inc., a venture investment firm. At Roche, he was responsible for the
company's biotechnology research projects, alliances and acquisitions.

A CEO & Investor Conference program, including online registration
forms, is posted on BIO's website ( and on a special
website set up for the conference (

BIO represents more than 860 companies, academic institutions and
state biotechnology centers in 47 states and 26 nations. BIO members
are involved in the research and development of health-care,
agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology products.

SOURCE Biotechnology Industry Organization

CONTACT: Dan Eramian or Charles Craig of Biotechnology Industry
Organization, 202-857-0244

Web site:

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