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Fort Lauderdale to host state's biotech conference this month

Tuesday, October 9, 2018   (0 Comments)
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By Marcia Heroux Pounds Contact Reporter

South Florida Sun Sentinel


Fort Lauderdale to host state's biotech conference this month


More than 400 scientists, entrepreneurs, investors and biotech industry experts are expected to gather in Fort Lauderdale this month for the annual BioFlorida conference.


The event, organized by the state industry association for biotech, is set for Oct. 14-16 at the Westin Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort, at 321 N. Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd.


It is designed "to showcase the business and scientific achievements in the industry and encourage collaborations and partnerships," said Nancy Bryan, CEO and president of the West Palm Beach-based BioFlorida.


Those in the industry have much to celebrate, as Florida's biotech industry grew in companies and incubators by nearly 15 percent in 2017, one of the strongest results since 2008, according to BioFlorida.


Florida's growth "is pretty impressive when you compare it against the country, which was less than 5 percent," Bryan said.


Biotech companies in Florida now total 343, with 57 new companies added in 2017, according to the organization's recently released Biotech Database.


More than one-third, or 130, of the companies and incubators are located in South Florida, according to the database.


One of those companies is F1 Oncology in West Palm Beach, and its chairman and CEO, Gregory Frost, is scheduled to be the keynote speaker at 9 a.m. Oct. 15. The company, founded in 2015, is working to reduce cancer mortality through innovations in cellular therapies for solid tumors.


Bryan said Frost "is an established entrepreneur in the industry. He's going to give pointers on how to build a successful company as well as life science hub."


In 2017, F1 Oncology raised $37 million from F1 BioVentures, Sinobioway and SunTerra Capital, according to a then MoneyTree report released by PricewaterhouseCoopers and CB Insights. In January, F1 Oncology announced a $10 million additional investment from its current investors.


Conference topics will include regenerative medicine, hospital research, innovation and neuroscience.


Participants include research scientists and professors from the Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience, Scripps Florida, University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine, Moffitt Cancer Center, Florida Atlantic University, Nova Southeastern University and University of Central Florida.


Biotech companies participating in conference panels and sessions include Medtronic, Sensus Healthcare, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Novartis, CytoSen Therapeutics, Intezyne Technologies, Biorep Technologies, Espero BioPharma and TherapeuticsMD.


Bryan said this year's event introduces a Latin American component for Florida companies to explore collaboration in the region.


There also will be a "BioPitch" competition for startups on Oct. 15. Competing South Florida companies will be:


Aventusoft in Boca Raton


Nutent Therapeutics in Boca Raton


Celigenex in Fort Lauderdale


Stat3 Therapeutics in Coral Springs


Simple Foods Collaborative Co. in Hallandale Beach


Vestion in Miami


Dalent Medical in Coral Gables


To register for BioFlorida, go to For more information, call 561-653-3839.

About BioFlorida

BioFlorida represents 6,200 establishments and research organizations in the biopharmaceuticals, medical technology, healthIT and bioagriculture sectors that collectively employ 87,000 Floridians.


Members of the BioFlorida network include emerging and established life science companies, universities, research institutions, hospitals, medical centers, incubators, economic development agencies, investors and service providers.


NEW regional sponsorship opportunities available.