Doylestown, PA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 10/17/2006 --More than 100 business leaders in the region attended the Regional Biotech Council annual conference on October 13, 2006 to hear James C. Greenwood, President and CEO of Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), give the keynote address – “The Biotechnology Century”. The conference was sponsored by the Regional Biotechnology Council (RBC), which is a program of the Hepatitis B Foundation and its research affiliate, the Institute for Hepatitis and Virus Research, and was held at the new Pennsylvania Biotechnology Center of Bucks County in Doylestown, Pa.
Pennsylvania State Senator Joe Conti, co-host of the conference, highlighted the state’s long history of supporting economic initiatives. “Today, [Pennsylvania] is really taking the lead in promoting biotech entrepreneurship and Governor Ed Rendell has already committed $3 billion for economic revitalization,” he said. “Now the challenge is to make sure we can bring the state programs back to the county, closer to you to make sure the programs are successful.”
Former Congressman Greenwood addressed how biotechnology is making enormous contributions to health care. “Biotechnology is the most transformational human endeavor that promises the greatest good,” he said. “Currently we spend $1.3 trillion on health care, but we need to focus on innovation at the biotech level to maximize this investment. The biotechnology century is all about wrestling with disease at the molecular level because the promise of biotechnology is that diseases can now be prevented and eliminated, not just treated.”
Greenwood was honored as the 2006 recipient of the RBC’s “Outstanding Achievement in Biotechnology Service” award. It was presented by Dr. Timothy Block, President, Hepatitis B Foundation and its research affiliate, the Institute for Hepatitis and Virus Research, and Professor, Drexel University; RoseAnn Rosenthal, President and CEO, Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania; and Dr. Mohan Philip, Director, Regional Biotech Council, and Co-Founder, Immunotope. As head of BIO, the nation’s leading biotechnology advocacy organization, Greenwood represents more than 1,100 biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations in all 50 U.S. states and 31 other nations.
In accepting the award, Greenwood joked that as a Congressman he had received many awards, but in his new role as President of BIO, the Regional Biotech Council award was his first from the biotech community. He concluded by thanking all of the biotech leaders in the room, and the RBC, for being part of the vanguard of the future since “Biotech will make the most significant contribution in the betterment of humankind.”
Additional speakers at the conference included Dr. Kenneth Blank, Vice Provost for Research, Drexel University, who spoke about “The Spin Cycle: How Drexel Spins Off Successful Companies”; and Marvin Woodall, Chairman, Prescient Medical, who spoke about “Attacking the Terrorists of the Heart”, which highlighted the company’s new medical device – a coronary stent.
A special guest speaker was Pennsylvania State Senator Robert Wonderling, 24th Senate District, who is chair of the Life Science Caucus that addresses the biotechnology and life science industry. “Biotech represents the fastest growing economic sector in the state,” he said. Wonderling also affirmed his strong commitment to the state’s continued investment in biotech entrepreneurship. He encouraged the audience to dream big saying, “If you can dream it, you can plan it. If you can plan it, you can do it.”
About the Regional Biotechnology Council
The Regional Biotech Council is sponsored by the Hepatitis B Foundation and its research affiliate, the Institute for Hepatitis and Virus Research, and funded in part by Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania. Currently, the council has an active membership of almost 500 individuals, and some 95 biotech and related companies in the five surrounding counties. It seeks to provide a networking environment for young and emerging biotech and related businesses, to help them establish and maintain their businesses, and to leverage their technologies. For more information, visit www.rbccb.org.
About The Hepatitis B Foundation
The Hepatitis B Foundation is dedicated to finding a cure and improving the quality of life for those affected by hepatitis B worldwide through a comprehensive program of research, education, and patient advocacy. The organization is committed to raising funds for focused research, promoting disease awareness, supporting immunization and treatment initiatives, and serving as the primary source of hepatitis B information for patients and their families, the medical and scientific community, and the general public. Visit the Hepatitis B Foundation at www.hepb.org.