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News & Events

Miles White, Chairman and CEO of Abbott Laboratories, speaking at the 2002 Biotech Conference.

Biotech at Kellogg Conference draws large crowd, assesses industry trends


4/12/2002 - On April 12-13, the Kellogg School hosted the second annual Biotech@Kellogg Conference following the success of last year’s format. Over 700 participants — including panelists, industry professionals, student organizers and Kellogg School alums — attended this year’s student-run event that focused on recent trends in the biotechnology sector. This year’s conference, whose theme was “Biotech: At the Center of Convergence,” attracted five keynote speakers, including: John Doll, director of the Biotechnology Center for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office; Miles White, chairman and CEO of Abbott Laboratories; Steve Burrill, founder, president, and CEO of Burrill & Co.; Vaughn Kailian, vice chairman of Millennium Pharmaceuticals; and Thomas Okarma, MD/PhD, president and CEO of Geron Corporation.

In his keynote, White discussed how partnerships established between pharmaceutical firms and biotech companies were creating a new model for discovery and development, saying that “alliances like these are, without question, essential to the future growth of our respective companies and their industries.” He also stressed the broad impact of biotechnology on the drug development process which “has unquestionably altered the way pharmaceutical companies go about their business.”

In his address, Burrill compared the size of the entire biotech industry as being equal to the combination of Merck and Pfizer. He advised that, “if you look out over the next 50 years and said ‘I could invest in this whole industry, versus investing in Pfizer and Merck’, my guess is that on an investment basis you’d do better investing in this whole industry.”

The conference also featured nine panels, most of which were moderated by Kellogg School professors. Some panel topics included Managing Strategic Marketing Alliances, Predictive Medicine and Pharmacogenomics, Managing Biodevice Innovation, and Building Biotech — Chicago Style.

New to the conference was the addition of a business plan competition involving Chicago area biotech start-ups represented by mixed groups of Kellogg students and graduate students from other schools at Northwestern University, including the medical and law schools. The winner of this year’s competition was Nyxis Neurotherapies, an organization that focuses on molecular biology-based technologies to develop novel diagnostics and therapeutics for the treatment of neurological disorders such as brain tumors, cognitive dysfunction and stroke.

Over 100 Kellogg alumni attended the event and were pleasantly surprised that the turnout for the conference that was larger than anticipated. Steven James ’83, senior vice president of business operations at San Francisco-based Sunesis Pharmaceuticals, noted that this was his first time back at Kellogg since graduation and was very impressed by the overall effort behind the conference initiative. Conference co-chairs Tom Fuchs and Min-min Hwang stated that they were extremely pleased with the success of this year’s conference and believe that the event is another important step in the development of biotech at Kellogg and in Chicago.br /> The conference also featured nine panels, most of which were moderated by Kellogg School professors. Some panel topics included Managing Strategic Marketing Alliances, Predictive Medicine and Pharmacogenomics, Managing Biodevice Innovation, and Building Biotech — Chicago Style.

New to the conference was the addition of a business plan competition involving Chicago area biotech start-ups represented by mixed groups of Kellogg students and graduate students from other schools at Northwestern University, including the medical and law schools. The winner of this year’s competition was Nyxis Neurotherapies, an organization that focuses on molecular biology-based technologies to develop novel diagnostics and therapeutics for the treatment of neurological disorders such as brain tumors, cognitive dysfunction and stroke.

Over 100 Kellogg alumni attended the event and were pleasantly surprised that the turnout for the conference that was larger than anticipated. Steven James ’83, senior vice president of business operations at San Francisco-based Sunesis Pharmaceuticals, noted that this was his first time back at Kellogg since graduation and was very impressed by the overall effort behind the conference initiative.

Conference co-chairs Tom Fuchs and Min-min Hwang stated that they were extremely pleased with the success of this year’s conference and believe that the event is another important step in the development of biotech at Kellogg and in Chicago.