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Highlights from the BIO International Convention 2024

The 2024 BIO International Convention, held in San Diego, California, from June 3 to 6, is the largest and most comprehensive event for biotechnology and considered one of the industry’s most significant gatherings.

With over 19,500 industry leaders from 70 countries in attendance, the conference provides an unparalleled opportunity to engage with biotech professionals and explore potential collaborations. BIO 2024 also exceeded its prior record of partnering meetings with over 61,000 held this year.

About 50 Swedish companies attended the convention, a slight decrease from 67 last year, representing roughly half of the Nordic presence (Denmark: 23, Finland: 16, Norway: 11, Iceland: 3).

About 50 Swedish companies attended the convention, a slight decrease from 67 last year, representing roughly half of the Nordic presence (Denmark: 23, Finland: 16, Norway: 11, Iceland: 3). According to a small survey conducted among SwedenBIO members, partnering was the primary reason for attending BIO. Respondents typically dedicated 70-100% of their time to partnering activities, participating in 25-30 partnering meetings during the event. When asked to compare the value of BIO to other conferences such as BIO Europe, the majority of respondents considered BIO to be more important than any other similar conference and the great majority of them plan to be back at BIO in Boston next year.

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The vast and busy exhibition space with thousands of delegates, served as an arena for numerous informal meetings, fostering a dynamic environment for networking and collaboration. The partnering area was integrated into the exhibition hall, which also featured country pavilions and company stands of various sizes. Nordic exhibitors included Swedish companies: Recipharm, NorthX, AcouSort, and Verigraft, Danish company Kvantify App, Norwegian companies: CEPI and Iris.ai and Finnish companies: 3PBiovian, Fermion Oy, and Paras Biopharmaceuticals. One rapidly growing field, Bioprocessing including Gene and Cell therapy, had its own corner called the Bioprocess Zone.

The Sessions at BIO

The sessions covered a multitude of topics, highlighting the current hot technology fields such as AI and Digital Health across many fields, Cell & Gene Therapy, Genome editing, Next Generation Biotherapeutics and Biomanufacturing.

Among the therapy areas, Oncology, Infectious Diseases and Vaccines were were extensively discussed.

Business Development and Finance were prominent topics, featured in more than 20 sessions.

Underscoring the breadth of the program at BIO, there were also sessions on Emerging opportunities Global Markets, Patient Advocacy, Regulatory Innovation and more.

The European Union at BIO

This year, EU had it’s own pavilion arranged by the European Innovation Council showcasing 15 selected companies, for details see the separate article.

Another organisation from EU was represented by Niklas Blomberg, new Executive Director for IHI, the Innovative Health Initiative since January this year. Niklas attended BIO to over-see a session on rare diseases which was organised by IHI together with their partners – the Children’s Tumor Foundation, the Critical Path Institute, EuropaBio and IRDiRC.

 

Niklas Blomberg

 

“One of the reasons for attending BIO is my responsibility for promoting IHI to the wider health community,” says Niklas Blomberg. “IHI is open to global partnerships and has long-standing collaborations with several US-based foundations that share our mission of improving public health. For us, a highlight of BIO was the very successful session on rare diseases we co-organized and we were also represented in other sessions throughout the program.”

“BIO is an interesting event for us because it attracts a diverse range of participants. As IHI is a public-private partnership, it is crucial to learn about the latest developments in the broader health innovation ecosystem. Additionally, I appreciated the sessions on the ever-evolving regulatory landscape,” ends Niklas.

Networking in beautiful San Diego

When BIO takes place in San Diego, the setting is particularly scenic, situated on the shore of the Pacific Ocean and adjacent to San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter, the city’s vibrant and historic district. On Wednesday evening, BIO took over two full blocks of the Gaslamp Quarter for a street party featuring food stations and live entertainment. Following the last session and closing of the exhibition on Thursday afternoon, delegates were invited to a gathering overlooking the Pacific Ocean, providing a perfect ending to the event with breathtaking views and a relaxed atmosphere.

 

Farewell gathering

 

About BIO

The Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) is the world’s largest trade association representing biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations across the United States and in more than 30 other nations. BIO members are involved in the research and development of innovative healthcare, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology products. BIO also produces the BIO International Convention, the world’s largest gathering of the biotechnology industry, along with industry-leading investor and partnering meetings held around the world.

About IHI, Innovative Health Initiative

At the Innovative Health Initiative, our goal is to translate research and innovation into real benefits for patients and society, and ensure Europe remains at the cutting edge of interdisciplinary, patient-centric health research. As a public-private partnership between the EU and Europe’s health industries, we support ambitious research and innovation projects that address unmet public health needs. Because our projects bring together experts from different industry sectors as well as universities, patient groups, regulators and others, they are well placed to ensure that new solutions are not only found, but made ready for implementation in healthcare systems.

Featured photo of Exhibition hallway – BIO 2024

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