AAPS Biotech Conference

The 2007 AAPS (American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists) National Biotechnology Conference (NBC) was hosted in sunny San Diego, California, from June 24–27. With a mild breeze, the temperature ranged between 70° and 75° F, one could only hope that the meeting would have taken place on the beautiful sandy beaches, instead of in a stuffy convention center.

The vast majority of NBC attendees were R&D scientists in the biotechnology industry. The sessions covered a wide array of topics, ranging from novel drug delivery systems, to toxicokinetic studies and biomarker assays. Monoclonal antibodies were a particular focus. Three full days of scientific sessions were the backbone of the conference. In addition to speaking with numerous exhibitors, IBO attended several of Tuesday’s scientific sessions. While the morning sessions were, on average, only at 20% capacity, the afternoon and early evening sessions were crowded, some even exceeding capacity.

According to preliminary reports provided by AAPS Public Outreach, there were approximately 1,475 attendees at NBC 2007, a 1% increase from a year ago when the conference was held in Boston, Massachusetts. There were 120 exhibitors at the conference, a 3% decline. The majority of the exhibitors were independent and contract research companies, in addition to a handful of instrument and accessory manufacturers, and consulting firms. Analytical instrument makers exhibiting included Biacore, Meso Scale Discovery, Waters and a number of HPLC

detector companies.

However, the exhibitor hall seemed quite gloomy on Tuesday, especially during the afternoon. Although the conference had its highest number of attendees, many of the exhibitors were quite disappointed by the turnout, especially those exhibiting for the first time. A few of the companies went so far as to tell IBO that the show was a “waste of their time” or a “bust,” and that they would not be exhibiting at the 2008 NBC. Because the show was being held in San Diego, which some might call the “biotechnology capital of the world,” many of the exhibitors may have had high expectations. However, there were also some exhibitors with whom IBO spoke who were quite satisfied with the show’s turnout.

The 2008 AAPS NBC is scheduled to take place in Toronto, Canada.

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