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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Mohan Philip
mphilip@ihvr.org / 215-489-4945

Focus on Commercializing New Discoveries at
8th Annual Regional Biotech Conference in Bucks County

DOYLESTOWN, PA (October 10, 2008) – The 8th Annual Regional Biotech Conference - “Commercializing Academic Discoveries” – was held Friday October 10, 2008 at the Pennsylvania Biotechnology Center in Doylestown, PA. The conference is sponsored by the Regional Biotechnology Council (RBC), which is a program of the Hepatitis B Foundation and its research affiliate, the Institute for Hepatitis and Virus Research. More than 100 biotech leaders in the region attended the meeting and listened to perspectives from investors, philanthropists, and entrepreneurs on the current status of the biotechnology industry.

Dr. Dennis Cheek of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, the leading foundation globally that educates, studies, and promotes entrepreneurship, provided the keynote address. He stated, “We need entrepreneurs now more than ever to drive innovation,” in light of the tightening of the global marketplace. Dr. Cheek also spoke about programs and resources the Kauffman Foundation offers to entrepreneurs.

The investment community provided further insight on how to finance innovations. Mr. James A. Datin of Safeguard Scientifics and Dr. Ray Manganelli of Sagamore Capital spoke about how to access venture capital and private equity dollars respectively. “Due diligence comes down to one word, Risk”, stated Manganelli in response to questions on the due diligence process.

Dr. Richard Caruso, founder and chairman of Integra Life Sciences, spoke on the strategic direction for the future of Integra as well as his role and system for mentoring entrepreneurs called Mentorsphere. Ms. Jeannine M. Marttila, executive director of the Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, presented Pennsylvania’s programs and resources available for entrepreneurs and start-up companies.  She stated, “We are proud to partner with the Pennsylvania Biotechnology Center on their nurturing of biotechnology, translational research, and entrepreneurship.”

The 2008 Regional Biotech Award for Outstanding Achievement was presented to Dr. Eli Mordechai, CEO of Medical Diagnostics Laboratories, for revolutionizing microbial analysis, by Dr. Timothy Block, President of Hepatitis B Foundation and the Pennsylvania Biotechnology Center, and Dr. Mohan Philip, Director, Hepatitis B Foundation’s Regional Biotech Council and co-founder of Immunotope. Dr. Mordechai shared his commitment to research and development in the light of the downturn of the national economy and how tough decisions will be made regarding research projects around the country. “When you wake up every day with the opportunity to discover something new that will help people around the world, that is what drives us and what makes all the hard work worthwhile,” said Dr. Mordechai in accepting the RBC’s Achievement Award. 

About the Regional Biotech Council
The Regional Biotech Council of Central Bucks is sponsored by the Hepatitis B Foundation and its research affiliate, the Institute for Hepatitis and Virus Research. It is funded in part by the Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania. Currently, the council has an active membership of over 450 individuals, and some 95 biotech and related companies in the five surrounding counties. It seeks to provide a networking environment for young and emerging biotech and related businesses, to help them establish and maintain their businesses, and to leverage their technologies. For more information, visit www.ihvr.org/rbc.

About the Hepatitis B Foundation
The Hepatitis B Foundation is the only national nonprofit organization solely dedicated to finding a cure and improving the quality of life for those affected with hepatitis B worldwide through research, education and patient advocacy. To assist in accomplishing its mission, the Hepatitis B Foundation established the Institute for Hepatitis and Virus Research in 2004. The Foundation is located in the Pennsylvania Biotechnology Center. For more information, visit www.hepb.org or call (215) 489-4900.

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