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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contact: Leah Ludwig
leah@furiarubel.com / 215-340-0480

Institute for Hepatitis and Virus Research Announces Annual Regional Biotech Conference “2011: A Biospace Odyssey”
(Hepatitis B Foundation’s Research Institute to Hold 11th Annual Biotech Conference Featuring Keynote Speaker Dr. Roy Vagelos, Retired Chairman and CEO of Merck & Co.)

DOYLESTOWN, PA (October 2011) – The Institute for Hepatitis and Virus Research (IHVR), the research arm of the Hepatitis B Foundation, will hold its Annual Regional Biotech Conference, themed “2011: A Biospace Odyssey,” Exploration of Natural Products Through Public/Private Partnerships, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Oct. 28, 2011, at the Pennsylvania Biotechnology Center in Doylestown, Pa. The conference will be attended by more than 100 of the area’s leading biotech entrepreneurs, executives and senior scientists. It will also feature a keynote address by prominent physician, scientist and corporate leader Roy Vagelos, M.D., retired Chairman and CEO of Merck & Co. who will speak about the “Merck Experience in Drug Discovery.”

With seating limited to 120 attendees, advance registration is required for the event. A networking breakfast and lunch are included in the $65 registration fee. Also speaking at the conference will be Craig Hopp, Ph.D., Program Officer at NCCAM-National Institutes of Health, “Natural Products, Nutraceuticals and NCCAM”; Ilya Raskin, Ph.D., Founder and Partner, Nutrasorb, “Developing Novel Botanical Products for Metabolic Syndrome”; Dennis Stevenson, Ph.D., Vice President, New York Botanical Garden, "Expeditions in Phytoprospecting: From the Field to Genomics"; and Michael Goetz, Ph.D., IHVR Director, Natural Products Discovery Institute.

“IHVR is honored to bring together Dr. Vagelos and numerous leading natural products scientific authorities for its 11th Annual Regional Biotech Conference,” said Timothy Block, Ph.D., Co-Founder and President of the Hepatitis B Foundation and IHVR, and a Professor of Microbiology at Drexel University College of Medicine. “This year’s conference will focus on exploring natural products through public/private partnerships which is particularly significant as it reflects Merck’s generous donation of its entire natural products collection to IHVR this year. The natural products library represents an extraordinary opportunity for the Hepatitis B Foundation, IHVR and the scientific and medical communities at large.”  

In June 2011, the Hepatitis B Foundation announced that Merck and Co. had donated its priceless natural products library to the IHVR to help enable open access to the library for researchers worldwide. Merck’s collection is considered to be one of the most diverse and best curated natural products libraries in the world, including approximately 100,000 screen-ready extracts and representing approximately 60% of all known plant genera in the world.
Each year, the IVHR’s Regional Biotech Council hosts the biotech conference in furtherance of its mission to provide a stimulating networking environment for emerging biotech businesses in the Pennsylvania counties of Chester, Montgomery, Delaware, Philadelphia and Bucks. For further information about the Annual Regional Biotech Conference, including advance registration and sponsorship opportunities, visit http://www.ihvr.org/rbc.

About the Institute for Hepatitis and Virus Research (IHVR): The IHVR is an independent nonprofit research institute established in 2003 by the Hepatitis B Foundation to conduct discovery research and nurture translational biotechnology in an environment conducive to interaction, collaboration and focus. To learn more, visit www.ihvr.org.

About the Hepatitis B Foundation: The Hepatitis B Foundation, celebrating its 20th anniversary as the global authority dedicated to eliminating hepatitis B, 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. It is headquartered in the Pennsylvania Biotechnology Center, which it created to accelerate its research mission. To learn more, visit www.hepb.org.

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