Ann Romney Opens Day Three of the BIO International Convention with a Keynote Session

Fireside chats with Illumina CEO and NASA Astronaut will follow the morning discussion

SAN DIEGO--()--The 2017 BIO International Convention (BIO 2017), the world’s largest gathering of the biotechnology industry, entered the third day of compelling, immersive programming united under the theme of “Breakthrough.” Hosted by the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO), BIO 2017 will run through Thursday, June 22 at the San Diego Convention Center.

A keynote session with Ann Romney, wife of Mitt Romney, best-selling author and a staunch patient advocate, leads BIO 2017’s Wednesday programming, which will also include several fireside chats and super sessions.

Wednesday, June 21 Highlights Include:

  • Keynote: Ann Romney, Wife of Mitt Romney, Patient Advocate and Best-Selling Author
    Ann Romney will take the stage to discuss her experience living with Multiple Sclerosis and share personal stories of trials and tribulations as a patient. With remarkable stories and insights that will touch all audiences, her valued perspective on her life in and out of the political spotlight is engaging and informative. BIO President & CEO, Jim Greenwood, will also give his annual “State of the Biotechnology Industry” address, discussing the latest challenges, opportunities and breakthroughs facing the biotechnology industry.
    9:00 – 10:30 a.m. | Ballroom 20, Upper Level
    • PLEASE NOTE: Keynotes are open to Convention Access and Partnering Attendees. Seating is first-come, first-served
  • Fireside Chat: Francis deSouza, President & CEO, Illumina
    Join us for a fireside chat with Francis deSouza, President & CEO of Illumina. Francis deSouza was appointed President & CEO of Illumina in 2016 and is responsible for directing all aspects of company strategy, planning, and operations. He initially joined the company as President in 2013, and led Illumina’s business units and core functions responsible for envisioning, developing and producing the company’s products.
    11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. | Room 5B, Upper Level
  • Super Session: The Trade and Investment Policies of the Trump Administration
    After six months in office, what are the outlook and implications for the biotechnology industry for the Trump Administration’s trade and investment policies? This panel will focus on the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Europe/UK, China and other notable areas.
    12:15 – 1:30 p.m. | Room 6A, Upper Level
  • Fireside Chat: Kathleen “Kate” Rubins, PhD, Astronaut, NASA
    Join us for a fireside chat with Kate Rubins, NASA Astronaut. Kate was selected by NASA in 2009 and completed her first spaceflight on Expedition 48/49, where she became the first person to sequence DNA in space. She spent 115 days in space and conducted two spacewalks.
    1:45 – 2:45 p.m. | Room 5B, Upper Level
  • Fireside Chat: Understanding the Patient Voice: Three Unique Perspectives on Healthcare
    The role of the patient has evolved dramatically over the past decade. Not only are patients increasingly more involved in their healthcare decision making, they are also passionate advocates who work tirelessly to advance drug development research and development and secure a public policy environment that is patient-centric. Join a discussion with three patient advocates as they discuss their journeys to diagnosis and their viewpoints on our healthcare system. They will share their perspectives on what it means to be a patient and how they are advocating in their own unique ways to achieve a common goal: bringing new treatments to patients.
    3:00 – 4:15 p.m. | Room 5B, Upper Level
  • Emerging Opportunities in Global Health: The African Cancer Crisis
    In 2015, the annual deaths in Africa due to cancer surpassed those due to malaria. For many in the developed world, cancer is a life-changing disease – but it is no longer a death sentence. The same cannot be said for most cancer patients in Africa. Cancer is a growing crisis on the African continent. In the past two decades, cancer incidence in Africa has doubled and deaths due to cancer have increased 62%. This is in stark contrast to the United States, where cancer incidence has increased 60% but deaths have increased only 21%. This African cancer epidemic is anything but straightforward, yet it must be prioritized. This panel session will explore the current state of cancer in Africa and describe how pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies can engage and begin to tackle this crisis before it’s too late. The panel will describe Africa’s cancer burden and the realities of cancer diagnosis and treatment on the continent. The discussion will include the perspective of government and industry in setting priorities, strategies, and access to medicines. Finally, the panel will discuss a new program launched by BIO Ventures for Global Health (BVGH) – the African Access Initiative (AAI) – with the aim of improving cancer patient management and creating new business models to ensure affordable, sustainable access to essential cancer technologies and therapeutics in Africa
    3:00 – 4:30 p.m. | Room 27AB, Upper Level

Thursday, June 22 Highlights Include:

  • Business Development & Finance: Inside the Minds of the Next Generation of Life Science VCs
    Billions of dollars of investment capital flowing into emerging biotech startups, and there’s much at stake. This panel of young, tech savvy venture capitalists will share how they view opportunities, the gaps they see in today’s healthcare market, and the solutions they’re eager to fund.
    9:00 – 10:00 a.m. | Room 8, Upper Level
  • Digital Health: Digital Health’s Rocky Road: Business Plans that Work
    In this panel, digital health leaders will share the challenges and lessons learned from collaborating with pharmaceutical companies. They will address questions including: What will allow companies to succeed and thrive in this nascent industry? Will it be collaborations with pharma partners? Or mastering the health insurance system? Or pursuing self-insurance programs?
    10:15 – 11:15 a.m. | Room 6EF, Upper Level
  • Personalized Medicine & Diagnostics: The Whole Picture: Consideration of Personalized Medicine in Value Assessment Frameworks
    Value assessment frameworks are a relatively new concept in healthcare, designed to help providers and patients choose treatments and guide reimbursement decisions. It is not yet clear how these frameworks apply to personalized medicines. Biopharma leaders will examine the current challenges associated with value assessment frameworks, and how they can evolve to account for personalized therapies and diagnostics.
    10:15 – 11:15 a.m. | Room 6D, Upper Level
  • Digital Health: Detect, Predict, Prevent: Using Digital Technologies to Tackle Brain Disorders
    Join researchers from leading academic institutions, patient advocacy organizations and biopharma innovators who will discuss how data generated from smartphones and wearables can help predict and even prevent brain disorders, such as depression, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Panelists will address pressing questions such as: How can we ensure the quality of the data generated? How can the data gathered help identify endpoints for clinical studies? And most importantly, how can we best capture those breakthroughs that have the potential to improve patients’ lives?
    11:30 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. | Room 7A, Upper Level
  • Special Program: Veterans Career Roundtable: From Service to Life Science
    San Diego veterans will discuss how they made successful transitions from careers in service to careers in life science and what resources fellow veterans need to prepare for impactful and meaningful employment in the biotech industry. Learn about the many valuable resources that are locally available for vets and how to get the most out of the BIO Talent Connect event, immediately following.
    1:00 – 2:00 p.m. | Spotlight Theatre: Sails Pavilion
  • Super Session: The Scientific American WorldVIEW Super Session: Wrapping Up and Looking Forward
    Join Scientific American Worldview and Nature Biotechnology for a discussion around the multiplicity of issues explored during the week's programs and get a snapshot of future trends. Key industry thought leaders will tackle the latest commercial, scientific and ethical issues facing innovation stakeholders today, and provide us with their views of the year ahead. Co-hosted by Scientific American and Nature Biotechnology, and moderated by Andrew Marshall, Chief Editor, Nature Biotechnology, this Super Session, now in its 9th year, will examine global life science innovation in unique and dynamic new ways.
    1:00 – 2:30 p.m. | Room 6A, Upper Level

Follow the 2017 Convention @BIOConvention, and join the conversation and @IAmBIOtech.

The BIO International Convention is the largest global event for the biotechnology industry and attracts the biggest names in biotech, offers key networking and partnering opportunities, and provides insights and inspiration on major trends affecting the industry. The Convention will highlight the latest trends and the newest opportunities for executives, investors, scientists, policy leaders, and media from around the world. Speakers at the sessions will share breakthroughs in medicine, diagnostics, the environment, energy production, business operations, financing, partnerships, policy issues and food and agriculture. Visit for the most up-to-date program and speaker information.

About BIO
BIO is the world's largest trade association representing biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations across the United States and in more than 30 other nations. BIO members are involved in the research and development of innovative healthcare, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology products. BIO also produces the BIO International Convention, the world’s largest gathering of the biotechnology industry, along with industry-leading investor and partnering meetings held around the world. BIOtechNOW is BIO's blog chronicling “innovations transforming our world” and the BIO Newsletter is the organization’s bi-weekly email newsletter. Subscribe to the BIO Newsletter.

Upcoming BIO Events

BIO World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology
Montréal, Canada
July 23-26, 2017

BIO Patient and Health Advocacy Summit
The Mayflower Hotel, Washington, DC
October 2-3, 2017

BIO Investor Forum
San Francisco
October 17-18, 2017


Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO)
Theresa Brady, 202-962-9235
Twitter: @IAmBiotech


Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO)
Theresa Brady, 202-962-9235
Twitter: @IAmBiotech