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Catalan biotechnology sector growth exceeds Spanish and European average.

The largest biotech partnering fair held in Europe provides a meeting point for organizations from around the world.

More than 1,700 delegates, 1,030 companies, delegations from 43 countries, 62 exhibitors and 8,500 one-to-one meetings. These are the figures that underscore the relevance of BIO-Europe Spring 2010, held in Barcelona from the 8th to 10th of March. The capital of Catalonia and its BioRegion shows its huge growth potential and its position as the gateway to global biotechnology in southwest Europe. The 2010 BIO-Europe Congress confirms Catalonia’s position as a leader in the field of biotechnology and puts the region at the cutting edge as a base for biotech projects.

According to a recent report by the Spanish biotech employers association Asebio, Catalonia is the most active Spanish region in biotechnology, biomedicine and life sciences, and is one of the great national biotech centres. Now the aim is to make the BioRegion an international reference point for other worldwide bioclusters and to turn Barcelona into the most attractive European capital for biotech events.

From the 8th to the 10th of March 2010, Barcelona is hosting one of the most important worldwide biotech partnering conferences at the International Convention Center (CCIB). The event is organized by EBD Group and Biocat, who are coordinating the Local Host Committee, which includes representatives from the Catalan Government (through the vice-presidency, the Economics and Finance Department, the Health Department and the Innovation, Universities and Enterprise Department), ACC1Ó, Barcelona City Council, Barcelona Chamber of Commerce, Genome Spain, Asebio, Invest in Spain and Talència.

BIO-Europe Spring Barcelona 2010 is being sponsored by Catalan companies such as Almirall, Amgen, Esteve, GP Pharm, Oryzon, Palau Pharma, Ysios Capital Partners and Cuatrecasas, amongst others, and attended by biotechnology, pharmaceutical, business services and financial companies and organizations from around the world. The aim is to facilitate meetings and partnerships between biotech companies and potential investors and encourage close partnership working. It’s anticipated that around 8,500 one-to-one meetings will take place at the congress.

The decision of the EBD Group, the leading partnering firm for the global life science industry, to hold this event in Barcelona, consolidates the city's global strategic position in the field of biotechnology and biomedicine, and promotes the Catalonia BioRegion, which is fast becoming one of the country’s main economic drivers. During recent years, Catalonia has built a young but emerging biotechnology sector that has grown at a rate of 30% annually and is composed of more than 25,000 researchers, 50 centres with 400 research groups, and 17 science parks (9 of which have activities in life sciences) and 13 hospitals with biomedical research facilities. With the support of Biocat and other organizations, Catalonia has developed a powerful biocluster that it is still growing despite the financial crisis.

The importance of the BioRegion turns Catalonia into one of Europe’s main gateways to worldwide biotechnology advances. For this reason Barcelona host the BIO-Europe Spring event and becomes the capital of European biotechnology for three days. According to Manel Balcells, President of the Executive Committee of Biocat, "Catalonia is very active in working with other bioregions to develop virtual clusters that allow for greater interaction between the various international partners,". In addition, Congress will facilitate the exchange of alliances between biotech and pharmaceutical companies, aiming to establish synergies for creating products and strategies for all the organizations attending the event.

The BIO-Europe event is organized by the EBD Group (together with the Biotechnology Industry Organization) twice a year (Spring and Autumn). EBD have developed software that facilitates the search for potential partners and coordinates a meeting agenda, making this event the most effective in Europe. The last event, held in Vienna in early November 2009, was attended by 24 companies from the Catalonia BioRegion and there were more than 11,000 one-to-one meetings, representing an increase of 18% over the previous year. The Barcelona event is expected to involve more than 1,750 professionals and 1,030 companies from 43 countries.

Authorities visit

During the first day of the conference, the BIO-Europe Spring 2010 will be visited by the Vice President of the Government of Catalonia, Josep-Lluís Carod-Rovira, and the other representatives: Carola Schropp, President of EBD Group; John Craighead, CEO of BIO and Manel Balcells, President of the Executive Committee of Biocat. They will also make the opening speech. It is envisaged that the Vice President and the Biocat team will make a tour of the  exhibition to visit the many stands, where they will be able to talk with the leaders of the companies exhibiting at the event.

About EBD Group: EBD Group is the leading partnering firm for the global life science industry. Since 1993, biotech, pharma and medical device companies have leveraged EBD Group’s partnering conferences, technology and services to identify business opportunities and develop strategic relationships essential to their success.

About BIO: BIO is the world's largest biotechnology organization, providing advocacy, business development and communications services for more than 1,200 members worldwide. BIO members are involved in the research and development of innovative healthcare, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology products. Corporate members range from entrepreneurial companies developing a first product to Fortune 500 multinationals. We also represent state and regional biotech associations, service providers to the industry, and academic centers. The mission of BIO is to be the champion of biotechnology and the advocate for its member organizations-both large and small.

About Biocat: Biocat is the organization that coordinates, dynamizes and promotes biotechnology, biomedicine and medical technology sector in Catalonia. It is fostered by the Government of Catalonia and the Barcelona City Council and, since it was created in 2006, has included companies and organizations from this sector in its governing bodies.

For more information contact:
Sílvia Castells (Inforpress) • Tel. +93 419 06 30 •
Silvia Labé (Biocat) • Tel. +34 93 310 33 69 • M. +34 662 315 400 •

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Silvia LabéDirector of Marketing, Communications and Competitive Intelligence
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