Growth of BioSouthwest 2006 Event in Tucson Reflects Expansion of BioIndustrial Landscape in Arizona

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The BioSouthwest 2006 Conference in Tucson April 3 and 4 takes place amidst a greatly expanded bioindustry community in Arizona with recent significant additions in both the academic and private sectors. The Bio-Industry Organization of Southern Arizona (BIO-SA) organizes these bi-annual, comprehensive conferences to nurture the region's convergence of bioscience and business.

Professionals attending BioSouthwest 2006 April 3 and 4 in Tucson will quickly appreciate how much the biotech scene in Arizona has changed since the event was first held in 2002 at the Doubletree Hotel. This year's program, returning to the Doubletree, takes place amidst a greatly expanded bioindustry community with recent significant additions in both the academic and private sectors. The Bio-Industry Organization of Southern Arizona (BIO-SA) organizes these bi-annual, comprehensive conferences to nurture the region's convergence of bioscience and business. The 2006 event includes a strong set of business-track sessions designed to provide young and maturing bioscience companies with exposure to all of the resources needed for their maximal growth. In parallel breakout sessions, a lineup of scientific presentations will offer insights into ongoing and future research topics of the 21st century. Additional information about the program can be seen at http://www.bio-sa.org

Dr. David Thorpe, BIO-SA Chair & BioSouthwest Project Manager, said, "The bioindustrial landscape in Arizona has changed dramatically since the start of the 1990s. The expansion of the biosciences-driven sector in Arizona is real and sustained, and I believe the BIO-SA organization and its events are helping with this regional transformation.”

Serious money interest in Southern Arizona is underscored by the opening keynote at BioSouthwest 2006 that will be given by one of the biotech world's key financial leaders -- Venture Capitalist G. Steven Burrill of Burrill & Company in San Francisco. The bioindustrial private sector in Arizona has continued to grow in recent years and several examples have been reported in the media.    W.L. Gore is expanding operations in Flagstaff along with the emergence of Machine Solutions Inc, both with cardiovascular strengths. The drug development company Covance is coming to Chandler in a big way and the Ross Division of Abbott Laboratories, makers of Ensure(R), is growing in Casa Grande to meet the needs of an aging population. Significant growth of the drug discovery R&D site for sanofi-aventis in Tucson begins soon, and Cord Blood Registry - a leader in stem cell therapy - has just opened a new, state-of-the-art, 100,000 square foot facility. Even though they had moved into brand new buildings just a few years ago, Ventana Medical Systems' continuing growth in the diagnostics and research business has spawned the need for flexible, semi-temporary structures. Meanwhile, SynCardia is poised to revolutionize cardiac care with their CardioWest total artificial heart system.

In academia, the region's biosciences have added the BIO5 Institute at the University of Arizona and the Phoenix Campus of the UA College of Medicine is rising near TGen. Facilities have expanded at Northern Arizona University and the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale. To reflect this academic growth, Dr. Vicki Chandler, the Director of BIO5, will give the lunchtime Plenary Address at BioSouthwest 2006. She will provide a vision of multidisciplinary biological research yielding tangible benefits. As an example of this, one scientific breakout session will feature bioengineering solutions for arthritis being pursued at BIO5. Also on the UA campus, the Arizona Research Labs have received international recognition for analyzing thousands of DNA samples for the National Geographic Society’s genographic project over the past few years, and this will be highlighted along with other innovative partnerships such as the C-Path Institute, a collaboration to accelerate and improve drug development comprising the UA, SRI and the FDA led by Dr. Raymond Woosley.

ABOUT BIO-SA:

The BioIndustry Organization of Southern Arizona (BIO-SA) is committed to promoting bioindustry in the region through community building and business enablement. The BIO-SA cluster works to ensure that the ingredients required for further expansion of the area's bioindustry sector are in place. The BIO-SA cluster is comprised of members from large and small companies, higher education and research institutions, and individuals interested in the development of a strong bioindustry in Southern Arizona. See http://www.bio-sa.org for additional information.

BioSouthwest 2006 and BIO-SA CONTACT:

David Thorpe, MD PhD

Chair, BIOSA

Dept. of Discovery Biology

Sanofi-Aventis Combinatorial Technologies Center

Telephone: (520) 544 - 5842

FAX: (520) 575 - 8283

MEDIA CONTACT:

Sandra Kay Helsel, Ph.D.

SK Helsel & Associates

http://www.skhelsel.com

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