The annual Biotechnology Innovation Organization's (BIO) International Convention was held in San Francisco, CA earlier this summer. BIO represents more than 1,100 biotechnology companies and other organizations, and the annual Convention usually attracts more than 15,000 attendees. BIO is the trade organization that represents biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, academic institutions, and biotechnology centers and organizations dedicated to innovation in biotechnology. The annual BIO Convention provides unprecedented partnering opportunities, and thus is a critically important forum for MDF to both learn from and educate potential partners in drug development for myotonic dystrophy.
The BIO Convention provided MDF with myriad opportunities to meet with industry partners that are already working in drug development for DM, have potential interest in DM, or are developing technology that MDF believes could be used to create potential therapies for DM patients.
MDF staff and board member Dr. Woodie Kessel met with senior representatives of 11 different biotechnology companies at BIO, who are either existing partners with drugs in preclinical or clinical development for DM (including AMO Pharma and Amorchem/Roche), or currently in early stage development efforts.
Staff also used the face-to-face meetings to evaluate the applicability of technologies such as gene therapy via companies experienced in cell line development as potential DM treatments. MDF used the meetings to describe the comprehensive infrastructure, data collection, funding and other efforts put in place by DM stakeholders (including MDF) to lower the risks to new DM drug development, to help ensure that the DM drug development pipeline continues to expand.
Drug discovery and development programs are inherently high-risk investments for pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. Engagement and recruitment of new companies to work on DM, as well as continuing efforts to foster companies already working in the area, are critically important goals for MDF.