After two years of meeting virtually due to the pandemic, the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) will go back to holding the BIO International Convention in person, in San Diego, June 13–16.
The BIO International Convention is the world’s largest gathering of leaders in the biotechnology and life sciences industries, bringing together thousands of biotechnology and pharmaceutical executives for a chance to meet one another and foster new opportunities and promising partnerships.
BIO’s One-on-One Partneringтм technology ensures world-beating networking: In 2018, the 10th edition of the BIO Convention hosted 46,916 partnership meetings, setting a Guinness World Record for “Largest Business Partnering Event.” The record was topped by the next BIO Convention in 2019, with more than 48,500 partnership meetings.
The motto of this year’s convention is “Limitless,” which was chosen to represent BIO’s commitment to unlocking possibilities for its members and attendees while paving the path for the future of the industry.
Demonstrating what the industry can do
“The Convention is a demonstration, and a celebration, of what the industry can do for society in terms of battling disease and enabling a quality of life,” said Stephen Jasko, BIO’s CFO and Executive Vice President of Business Development.
More than 100 interactive sessions are scheduled—covering a wide range of therapeutic areas, business development, digital health, patient advocacy, public policy, and next-generation biotherapeutics, as well as the most recent updates from industry experts on COVID-19 and vaccines.
From the industry perspective, it is about coming together as a collective of professionals in a field to reinvigorate the industry, and to assess the challenges, which range far beyond COVID-19, Jasko noted.
“The focus, the public eye has rightly been on the pandemic, and it’s been a horrifically difficult situation for many people. But we want to remind everybody that even after the pandemic, there are diseases for us to battle and quality of life issues, and durational life issues that challenge the industry,” he said. “So, we are on a much broader, much longer mission than the pandemic. There are unfortunately diseases, from cancers to Alzheimer’s, and the industry has relentlessly, through the pandemic, been working on other things, on everything, not just the vaccines.”
Focus on patients
Of course, a convention focused on biotechnology and life sciences will also have a focus on key beneficiaries of the industry, the patients. Jasko said BIO wants to make sure that the voices of the industry and patients are heard equally.
“As an industry and as an organization, we support equitable access, diversity, and clinical trials, and we know that there is work to be done in those areas. We want the general public to know that we care about these issues. We care about everybody’s quality and duration of life, although sometimes that voice gets overshadowed by legislators and politicians, who may have multiple agendas beyond the industry,” Jasko said.