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Biotech Company Builder Papadopoulos Says Investment in Innovation Needed to Advance Drug Pipeline at Massachusetts Biotechnology Council's Ninth Annual MASS Opportunities Investment Conference
Date:11/8/2007

w England's largest investor conference.

"Following last year's MASS Opps, the private presenting companies announced $198 million in new venture capital fundraising. Two companies announced IPOs totaling more than $107 million, and twelve alliances and partnerships were formed including a $1 billion licensing deal," said Massachusetts Biotechnology Council President Robert Coughlin. "Public companies presenting last year received three U.S. FDA approvals, one international approval, and nine licensing deals.

"This year we had 32 private and public companies presenting. It is essential that these growing companies meet with the same success," said Coughlin. "We hope MASS Opps will help them achieve meet their financing objectives."

Governor Deval Patrick, who spoke before Papadopoulos, said the $1 billion Life Sciences legislation now at the State House has general consensus around the principals, and asked for phone calls, letters, and expressions of interest to state leaders.

Future of Biotechnology Showcased: Nanotechnology, Mitochondria, RNA

Nanotechnology, RNA, and mitochondria research were highlighted as opportunities on the horizon. Vamsi Mootha, PhD, assistant professor of Systems Biology at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital, said many rare and common diseases have been linked to lesions in mitochondria, better known as the powerhouses in our cells, converting oxygen and other nutrients into energy.

The breakdown of normal mitochondrial function has been linked to tumors, diabetes, deafness, blindness, heart disorders, and other diseases, Vamsi said, who is also the an assistant professor at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. No therapies currently exist to correct breakdowns in mitochondrial function. Mootha's lab is working to define how mitochondria form to better understand what occurs when normal function goes awry.

Nanomedicine's progress was detailed by Omid Farokhzad, MD, Harvard
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SOURCE Massachusetts Biotechnology Council
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