BIO begins in peace

By staff reporter

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Animal testing

The BIO International Convention in Boston officially began
yesterday amid relative peace after concerns over possible large
and violent protests failed to materialise.

The event site was guarded by a heavy police presence after crowds of over 3,000 protesters showed up to voice their opposition the last time the biotech industry held a major convention in Boston. According to our BioPharma-Reporter correspondent at the event, organisers had been "bracing themselves"​ for a repeat of this scene, however, there were only a handful of peaceful protesters from groups opposing both animal testing and the construction of a Level 4 Biosafety Lab at Boston University in nearby Cambridge. "At the kick-off social event on Sunday night there was a strong police presence but no sign of any protesters,"​ said the correspondent. Meanwhile on the first day of the conference, delegates heard that biotechnology companies could soon pop up on the radar of animal-rights and other extremist groups who see them as a "soft target" due to their size and financial vulnerability. These views were shared during a panel discussion involving Frankie Trull, president of the Foundation for Biomedical Research, Bill Trundley, GSK's head of global security, as well as an FBI agent, Paul Bresson. As the biotech industry matures, this is an issue that all the companies involved in this industry, including investors and service providers, will have to consider and is a concern that more and more of Tull's members are already beginning to ask his association for counsel on, he said.

Related topics: Markets & Regulations