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BioTech London Established

Tuesday, October 5, 1999 - 00:00

Biotech London is the name of the newly established coordinating council to promote the growth of and manage biotechnology as a significant economic development initiative for London and region, it was decided at the council’s organizing meeting Friday, October 1, 1999.

The task of Biotech London is to lead in the establishment of London as a major centre for biotechnology commercialization, and be the voice of biotechnology in the community. The council will bring together the biotechnology stakeholders, and link research, business and public interests. First tasks of the council are to incorporate Biotech London, recruit its board of directors and hire a chief executive officer.

"We will gather those interested in making biotechnology a major economic activity in the region," said Claude Pensa QC, the founding chair of Biotech London. "In London we already have a number of companies and institutions who are either in the biotech business or whose activities contribute to this economic engine for the region. It’s important that we capitalize on the international reputation of London in medical research and biotechnology activity."

The council will include leaders in biotechnology research, both institutional and from the private sector. It is expected there will be representatives from the University of Western Ontario, London Health Sciences Corporation, Robarts Research Institute, The Lawson Research Institute, London Economic Development Corporation, Agriculture Canada and up to three directors from biotech companies.

Mr. Pensa said there are tremendous opportunities for London to be acknowledged as a centre of biotechnology based on its broad research capability and growing commercial activity in the area. He paid tribute to the initiative of the London Economic Development Corporation in establishing Biotech London.

"This is a major step forward in realizing what we expect to be an important economic driver in the community," said Earl Orser, Chairman of the London Economic Development Corporation. "The LEDC board has identified biotechnology and agri business as key to future growth and success. We spent considerable time over the past year confirming our strategies for growth in this sector and it is a priority for the LEDC."

For further information, please contact:

Claude Pensa QC
Tel: (business) 667-4010
(home) 432-1446

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