SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Today, the Washington Biotechnology & Biomedical Association (WBBA) is recognizing its 25th year as an organization at the Governor’s Life Sciences Summit & Annual Meeting. During the event, Governor Jay Inslee will address the life science community and discuss the critical role the industry plays in driving the state’s economy and making Washington a global leader in life science innovation and health care delivery.
Governor Inslee recently noted, “Washington state has a rich history of breakthrough research and development in life saving technologies. As we look towards building a stronger culture of innovation and entrepreneurship, we must leverage our history and compete at a higher level to retain this industry. With the help of the WBBA, we’re committed to keeping Washington a global leader in biotechnology.”
The WBBA, originally named the Washington Biotechnology Association, was formed in 1989. During the past 25 years, Washington state has seen tremendous achievement and innovation in the life sciences, including:
- 1990: E. Donnall Thomas of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center was awarded the Nobel Prize for pioneering bone marrow transplantation
- 1998: Etanercept (later Enbrel) was released for commercial use by Immunex Corporation
- 2001: The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation was founded
- 2005: Washington state’s Life Sciences Discovery Fund was established
- 2009: Novo Nordisk opened its autoimmune disease research center in Seattle
- 2013: Allen Institute for Brain Science was named a lead organization in the national brain-research and mapping initiative
- 2014: Seattle Biomedical Research Institute was awarded a $9.8 million grant by the NIH to develop HIV/AIDS vaccines
This year, investment in Washington state life sciences surpassed $1 billion, and it is the fifth largest industry sector in the state, contributing more than $11 billion to the GDP.
“This is such an exciting time in the life science industry,” said WBBA President & CEO Chris Rivera. “At the Governor’s Life Sciences Summit & Annual Meeting, we have a chance to look back at how far we have come and look forward to the life changing innovations we expect to see in the future. I couldn’t be more proud to be a part of this community that touches the lives of people across our state each and every day.”
The event kicks off at 8 a.m. today at the Meydenbauer Center in Bellevue, Washington. More than 1,000 attendees will be addressed by Governor Jay Inslee, King County Executive Dow Constantine and WBBA President & CEO Chris Rivera. The WBBA is proud to have Steven Gillis, Ph.D., managing director of ARCH Venture Partners, as its keynote speaker.
The event will include highlights from the Annual Economic Impact of Life Sciences Report. In addition, Cambia Health Solutions will present its plans to establish the Cambia Grove, a collaborative facility in Seattle that will serve as a hub to foster innovation and transformation in the health care industry on a national level. The Cambia Grove will provide space for innovators and entrepreneurs to collaborate with health care providers, businesses, the public sector and health plans to identify and develop solutions to pressing industry challenges. For more information visit: www.cambiagrove.com.
More information about the Governor’s Life Sciences Summit and Annual Meeting can be found here.
About the WBBA
The Washington Biotechnology & Biomedical Association (WBBA) has nearly 650 member organizations and is an independent, non-profit 501(c)(6) trade association serving the life sciences industry in the state of Washington. It is completely resourced and supported by its members, including organizations engaged in, or supportive of, research, development and commercialization of life science innovation.
The WBBA’s mission is to support and help grow Washington state’s life science ecosystem, driving its core strategic focus on:
- Innovation – working closely with and supporting our research institutions, inventors and entrepreneurs to broaden the impact of breakthrough discoveries
- Capital – facilitating access to capital, especially early stage funding and strategic collaboration
- Talent – helping to recruit, train and retain the talent needed to grow the life sciences in Washington
- Environment – ensuring that Washington is a great place to start, grow and promote the organizations needed to remain competitive and prosperous