WASHINGTON, DC – B.C.’s life science innovators have won all three national company-of-the-year awards at the world’s largest biotechnology convention this week.
As well, they’ve signed an agreement that will see North Germany and B.C. pool their expertise, and speed-dated through hundreds of meetings to sow the seeds for future partnerships.
Team BC, a delegation of about 100 life sciences experts from 40-plus companies and research agencies, is being led by LifeSciences BC and Dr. Moira Stilwell, Parliamentary Secretary for Industry, Research and Innovation. Stilwell touched down in Washington Sunday night for BIO 2011, which has attracted more than 15,000 delegates from all over the world.
By the end of today, Stilwell will have:
The convention also features the world’s largest biotech exhibition, with 1,700 companies set up in 60 pavilions in the Walter E. Washington Convention Centre. The exhibits cover an area that would fill four football fields. Stilwell helped open the 550-square-metre Canadian Pavilion this morning.
B.C. is recognized as one of Canada’s most successful biotechnology centres and is home to 30 per cent of the country’s biotech firms. The sector includes roughly 250 biopharmaceutical, medical device, bioproducts and bioenergy companies that provide more than 5,000 jobs, including the 2,000 people working at public sector research agencies. The province also hosts the annual BioPartnering North America conference, which attracted 500 companies from 30 countries this year for three days of business development and deal-making.
The province’s life sciences sector has a world-class reputation for health-related R&D in oncology, genomics, infectious disease, neuroscience, regenerative medicine, HIV/AIDS, cardiology, metabolic diseases and personalized medicine. Other strengths include marine, agriculture and forest biotechnology.
Dr. Moira Stilwell, Parliamentary Secretary for Industry, Research and Innovation: “We’re finding innovative ways to help B.C.’s life sciences sector take its place on the world stage with solutions that are bettering and saving the lives of people everywhere on the planet. I congratulate Cardiome Pharma, EnWave Corp. and Allon Therapeutics on their Gold Leaf award hat-trick, which shows just how strong B.C.’s life sciences industry has become. And I look forward to the successes that will emerge from LifeSciences BC’s relationship with Norgenta, its new partner in North Germany, and from our province’s work towards a long-term collaborative relationship with the federal government.”
Don Enns, president, LifeSciences BC: “As evidenced at BIO 2011, the vast majority of the countries in the world – representing both developing and emerging economies – recognize the importance of a healthy life sciences sector and its contribution to both better patient outcomes as well as economic development. The three awards which will be given to B.C. companies and the agreement reached between Norgenta and LSBC are a testament to British Columbia’s success and are hopefully a prelude to many other future achievements in this arena. We thank Dr. Stilwell for her support and congratulate all recipients of the Gold Leaf awards.”
Cardiome Pharma Corp., overall Company of the Year, develops drugs to treat and prevent cardiovascular and other diseases. Its Brinavess treatment is already being used in Europe.
B.C.’s life sciences sector contributes $630 million to B.C.’s GDP each year, according to Life Sciences BC’s Industry Snapshot 2011.
The Province has invested more than $1.8 billion in research and innovation, much of it for the life sciences, including $261 million for the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research and $152.5 million for Genome BC.
Genome BC projects have attracted over 100 major international co-funders and partner organizations, including multinational corporations, pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, worldwide charitable foundations and top-tier research institutions.
The Centre for Drug Research and Development, also funded by the Province, is unique in the world, and bridges the commercialization gap for promising early-stage technologies coming out of university research in B.C.
The 10th annual BioPartnering North America conference will be held in Vancouver in 2012 from Feb. 26 to 28.
LifeSciences BC: www.lifesciencesbc.ca
BioPartnering North America: www.techvision.com/bpn
Cardiome Pharma Corp.: www.cardiome.com
Allon Therapeutics: www.allontherapeutics.com
EnWave Corp.: www.enwave.net
Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation
Manager, Marketing & Outreach
LifeSciences British Columbia
Connect with the Province of B.C. at www.gov.bc.ca/connect