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Biotech Capability Showcased To US Market

New Zealand’s Biotech Capability Showcased To $US25 Billion American Market

Auckland, May 29, 2002 -- Trade New Zealand and Investment New Zealand will next month lead New Zealand’s strongest-ever contingent of companies to the world’s largest biotechnology event, BIO 2002 in Toronto, Canada.

The number of New Zealand companies participating in the event, considered the world’s foremost biotechnology, scientific, investment and partnering forum, has jumped from nine last year to 23 in 2002.

The increased interest reflects the growth in New Zealand’s biotech sector and the importance of the organisation behind the show, the Biotechnology Industrial Organisation, which represents more than 1000 biotechnology companies, academic institutions and related organisations in 34 countries including the United States.

Trade New Zealand says BIO 2002 (9 - 12 June) is a “one-stop-shop” for world biotech and gives New Zealand companies a significant opportunity to promote their capabilities to key partners and investors in the $US25 billion North American market.

“The US and Canada are investing hugely in the development of biotechnology, pharmaceutical, nutraceutical and natural products. North America is a valuable long-term market for New Zealand and attending this annual conference is the best place for our companies to build their understanding of the sector globally and promote themselves,” Trade New Zealand Account Manager Jo McEvoy says.

Company representatives at BIO 2002 will attend seminars, participate in workshops and explore possible partnerships. A number will also exhibit on a Trade New Zealand and Ministry of Research, Science & Technology sponsored stand.

New Zealand’s profile at the event will be enhanced by a visit from the Minister of Research, Science and Technology Pete Hodgson who will be speaking at the Global Biotechnology Forum and attending various other events.

Investment New Zealand’s Biotechnology Manager Dr Bret Morris will address both the Commonwealth Partnering Event on the eve of the conference, and pre-conference partnering meetings in Seattle and Boston, outlining New Zealand’s strengths and future potential in the biotech sector.

“We’ve had a lot of experience in biotechnology research and development,” he says. “Combine that with the depth of scientific talent in New Zealand and some recent stand-out examples of new companies particularly in the biomedical area that have achieved fast-track development of biotechnology products for human, animal and plant health, and this offers excellent prospects for investors and joint-venture partnerships.”

He says New Zealand can leverage its traditional strengths in agricultural biotechnology and the competitive edge gained from its status as a clean environment with disease free animals - resulting in new value-added products targeted towards the improvement of human health.

New York-based Trade Commissioner Brent Ogilvie will also be formally presenting some of the New Zealand companies to about a dozen US venture capitalists prior to and during BIO 2002, in the hope of sparking investment in drug development here.

Mr Ogilvie says a number of associated events also offer excellent opportunities to meet with US companies specifically interested in strategic partnering with Australasian companies.

They include:

- The 3rd annual Queensland-New Zealand Bio Workshop (4 - 7 June) takes place in association with local bioscience partners from Seattle, Washington and Vancouver, with a programme that includes tours of major bioscience firms and research centres;

- In Boston, Austrade and Investment New Zealand will host the Boston Bio-Relationships Conference (6 - 7 June). This event gives Australian and New Zealand companies the opportunity to work with biotechnology leaders from Massachusetts, regarded as one of the worlds most innovative and dynamic biotechnology centres;

- Some New Zealand biotech companies will also be taking part in the first ever ANZA Technology Showcase to be held in San Francisco (2- 4 June) before travelling to BIO2002;

Later this year the New Zealand industry will have another chance to profile its biotechnology strengths to the world’s best at the 8th International Pacific Rim Biotechnology Conference being held in Auckland in November (17 - 20 November).

The US biotechnology industry has trebled in size in the last eight years, earning $US25 billion in 2001. Near 1380 biotechnology companies in the States spent $US13.8 billion on research last year, Mr Ogilvie says.

“The timing couldn’t be better for companies serious about entering the US market.”

The New Zealand companies attending BIO 2002 are:

AgResearch Limited - Invermay

Auckland University Uniservices - Auckland

A J Park - Wellington

Baldwin Shelston Waters - Wellington

Canterbury Development Corporation - Christchurch

Celentis - Auckland

ENZTEC Limited - Auckland

Enzo Nutraceuticals Ltd- Christchurch

Ernst and Young - Auckland

Genesis Research & Development Corporation Limited - Auckland

Hort Research - Hamilton and Auckland

ICP Bio - Auckland

Invitrogen - Auckland

Industrial Research Limited - Auckland

Meat New Zealand/Agritech Investments Limited - Wellington

New Zealand Game Industry Board - Wellington

Vialactia Biosciences (NZ) Limited - Auckland

Virionyx - Auckland

Zenith Technology, also representing PharmaZen Limited and Botry-Zen Ltd - Dunedin and BLIS Technologies - Wellington (

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