BIOQuebec Release: The Former Premier Of Manitoba In Montreal To Propose An Innovation Strategy In The Health Care Domain

MONTREAL, March 8 /PRNewswire/ -- BIOMEDEX 2005, the leading life science industry convention-exhibition in Canada, is taking place next March 30 and 31 at the Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth Hotel. The event features two renowned speakers who will be proposing different approaches to government partnerships for biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies. Hence, the Honourable Gary Filmon, Premier of Manitoba from 1988 to 1999, and Dr. Mervyn Turner, Senior Vice-President at Merck & Co., will be recounting on March 31 their respective experiences apropos the possibility, indeed the necessity, of developing alliances with Government.

“We are very pleased to welcome these two individuals, who will be sharing their vision and their expertise with us, and who will certainly provide the participants with a unique opportunity to update their understanding and knowledge of the kind of alliances that are possible with government bodies”, indicates Bertrand F. Bolduc, President of BIOQuebec.

Entitled Biopharmaceuticals and partnerships with Government: How do you create an innovative strategy?, the workshop-discussion led by Gary Filmon will be geared towards an exchange of ideas regarding government partnerships. The former Premier of Manitoba, who held office during a particularly eventful period, will be describing the Canadian Health Industries Partnership project.

Staying with the subject of creating partnerships with Government, BIOMEDEX 2005 will also be presenting a conference with Dr. Mervyn Turner, worldwide head of research at Merck & Co. The scope and magnitude of the research being conducted in laboratories around the world surpasses what one company can achieve independently and Merck recognizes this fact.

Dr. Mervyn Turner will thus describe how this company has reacted to the situation by creating partnerships with the emerging biotechnology sector for research into new technology and new therapies. Biotechs and pharmaceuticals require a very robust public scientific base in order to get knowledge to circulate, which is the very foundation of the life science industry. Governments have a key role to play in supporting scientific infrastructures, by investing simultaneously in drug development via the industry’s networking processes and in the health care system. Dr. Turner will elaborate on his ideas about how Canada could attract investments in the science domain and in the business milieu so that Canada’s life science industry could grow even more vigorously.

BioPharma Sessions on March 31

The 2005 edition of BIOMEDEX will also be an excellent place for participants to delve into the whole question of managing such alliances. Hence, amongst the speakers invited to a session on The Role of Alliance Management, there will be Ian McKenna, Alliance Manager at Eli Lilly and Company, in Indianapolis, and Nicholas Franco, Global Vice-President, Business Development and Licensing, Primary Care, at Novartis Pharma AG, in Switzerland.

Mr. McKenna will be speaking about the importance that Eli Lilly places upon having a worldwide perspective, and this, ever since its creation, 130 years ago. “Indeed, our first international alliance sought to develop and market insulin in cooperation with two Canadian doctors (Banting and Best) at the University of Toronto, in the early 1920s”, declared Mr. McKenna. Meanwhile, Mr. Franco explained that Novartis is constantly on the lookout for interesting opportunities to complement its internal research and development efforts. “On account of the relatively low number of researchers and the excellent work being conducted by smaller biopharmaceutical companies, whether they are private or public, we think very highly of this sector as a source of innovation,” he specified.

Diane E. Brown, Director, Alliance Management at Boehringer Ingelheim, in Connecticut, and Nancy Griffin, Vice-President, Business Development and Licensing Activities at Bayer Canada, in Toronto, will be the two other speakers at this session.

Amongst the other sessions that will be addressing the challenges and issues confronting biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies during the BioPharma session, let us mention: Specialty pharmaceutical company resources vs. major pharmaceutical company resources and Big biotechnology companies: How do you make a partnership agreement.

Sponsors and Partners

BIOQuebec and the Association of the health technologies industry (AITS) wish to thank their sponsors and/or partners who, year after year, have supported BIOMEDEX in order to provide the biotechnology industry with a remarkably worthwhile annual forum, as well as the Genesis Awards Gala. They are: Biotech City, National Bank of Canada, Biotechnology Focus, Biotechnology Research Institute-CNRC, BIOTECanada, Canadian Healthcare Licensing Association, Pharmaceutical Marketing Club of Quebec, CNW Telbec, Contact Canada, Centre quebecois de valorisation des biotechnologies, Desjardins Ducharme Stein Monast, Canada Economic Development (Federal Government), Ecole Polytechnique, Ecole de technologie superieure (ETS), Fonds de la recherche en sante du Quebec, Fonds de solidarite FTQ, Genome Quebec, Goudreau Gage Dubuc, the Government of Quebec, Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP, Crea Group, IBM, Montreal International, Les Affaires, PharmaHorizons, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Quebec Sciences, Quintiles, RBC Royal Bank, Tories LLP, Universite de Montreal, Valorisation Recherche Quebec, Victhom and the City of Montreal.

The organizers of BIOMEDEX 2005 would also like to extend a warm welcome to the new sponsors and/or partners of our event: Choate Hall & Stewart, an American law firm out of Boston, AstraZeneca, Axcan Pharma, the British Consulate General, Centre quebecois d’innovation en biotechnologie, Johnson & Johnson Medical Products, Life Jobs, Manoir Saint-Sauveur, Merck Frosst, Rx&D and Rogers.

For more details about BIOMEDEX 2005, please visit the event’s Web site


CONTACT: Nadia Paquet, Media Relations, (514) 843-2351,Cell: (514) 713-1350,; Celine Vaillancourt, Director ofCommunications and Marketing, BIOQuebec, (514) 733-8411 ext. 207,