BIO convention in Boston - 2012

Globe coverage of the Biotechnology Industry Organization's convention at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, June 18-21, 2012.

BIO leaders want to return to Boston

As they closed out their biotechnology convention Thursday after four days of meetings, panels, and parties that drew more than 16,500 industry professionals to Boston, leaders of the Biotechnology Industry Organization said they want to come back later this decade -- if they can get more exhibition space and other accommodations. “We would love to return to Boston,” said BIO president James C. Greenwood.

Patients driving direction of new drug research

Patients and their families are taking an increasingly larger role in drug development, inspiring new treatments, working closely with pharmaceutical companies, and matching patients with clinical trials, paying for research, and lobbying to speed drug development. In doing so, patients are pushing their diseases into the limelight and fundamentally changing the way the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries, as well as the government, approach drug creation and approval, and patient care.


Speaking up for patients

Cancer activists take their fight for drug approval to the BIO conference in Boston.

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Biotech companies in Mass.

The Massachusetts Biotechnology Council lists more than 900 companies in the state. View a map of their locations.

Verastem executives (from left) Robert Forrester, Robert Weinberg, and Christoph Westphal.


Some venture firms find both ideas and the money

Third Rock is one of a trio of Back Bay firms that have been taking a much more hands-on approach to scouting for promising research and then crafting companies around it.


As biotech giants convene, Massachusetts stands out

Over the past two years, Greater Boston has received more funding for biotech research and start-up companies than any other region in the country. While other biotech hubs lost research and development jobs during the financial crisis, biotech jobs here rose from 46,380 in 2008 to 48,647 in 2010. This success didn’t come about by accident. For years, state and city leaders have worked hard to woo the industry, despite opposition from some lawmakers who felt the government’ shouldn’t play such an active role.


The darker side of the bio industry

Biological advancements have tremendous benefits to our health, energy supplies, and global food supplies. But there is a darker side to the bio-industry.

Latest headlines

Budget, health fights worrying biotechs at BIO

The biotechnology industry, already grappling with funding, research, and reimbursement challenges, has some new worries: how federal budget cuts and the upcoming Supreme Court decision on President Obama’s health care law could scramble their business calculations. Among other things, executives said Wednesday at the Biotechnology Industry Organization's convention in Boston, cutting National Institutes of Health grants could dampen the basic research that is the lifeblood of medical innovations while a high court ruling that invalidates the Affordable Care Act could strip away a protection that gives biotech companies a dozen years of exclusive rights to the data underpinning their protein-based drugs.

BIO sets up potential partners through speed meetings

Michal Preminger, executive director of Harvard University’s Office of Technology Development, has 70 meetings on her BIO International Convention schedule. Christine Menjoz of Sanofi is only meeting with new companies at BIO — just six or seven meetings a day. The sprawling conference features high-profile keynote addresses, dozens of industry panels, and hundreds of booths and pavilions in its exhibition hall. But the main event for many attendees are dozens and dozens of “partner meetings” with other companies and institutions.

Grants awarded in Israel-Mass. pact

The first round of grants awarded under the Massachusetts-Israel Innovation Partnership (MIIP) were announced Tuesday at the BIO International Convention at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center. MIIP is a formal collaboration between the State of Israel and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to encourage and support innovation and entrepreneurship between Massachusetts’ and Israel’s life sciences, clean energy and technology sectors.

Drug makers, Massachusetts to form consortium

Massachusetts and seven biopharmaceutical companies are expected to unveil an ambitious neuroscience consortium Wednesday aimed at improving the understanding and treatment of neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and multiple sclerosis.

// Former US Treasury secretaries sound alarm

Henry M. Paulson Jr. and Robert E. Rubin warned that decisive political action is needed in the US and Europe to avert an economic crisis.

More information

// Bio convention website

Visit the website of the 2012 Bio International Convention, which is being held in Boston.