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Announced Oct. 21, the BIO International Convention, the global event for biotechnology produced by Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), will return to San Francisco, Calif., in 2016. Originally scheduled to be held at McCormick Place in Chicago, the Convention will return to where the biotechnology industry first originated, and where the event was previously held in 2004.

“The San Francisco Bay Area is where it all began—it is the birthplace of the very first biotechnology company,” said Jim Greenwood, president and CEO, BIO. “Today, San Francisco remains one of the most creative and prolific locations for the life sciences sector, a thriving hub with nearly 1,000 biotech companies. We are excited to bring the BIO International Convention back to San Francisco in 2016.”

BIO International ConventionAttracting more than 15,000 high-level professionals from 48 states and over 60 countries, the BIO International Convention is the world’s largest event for the biotechnology industry. Its annual event highlights the latest advancements in biotechnology.

Although the BIO meetings were held in Chicago in 2006, 2010 and 2013, its return to San Francisco proves to be a great loss for the Windy City. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, along with other government officials, considered the show an indication of the city’s growth as the biotechnology hub of the Midwest.

Show producers privately informed iBIO, Illinois’ biotech industry trade group, of the move to San Francisco with no plans to return to Chicago until 2019.

“It’s a disappointment,” said David Miller, president and CEO, iBIO. “It was a real opportunity to showcase what we had. The world came to us.”

According to show producers, however, the West Coast is already an established locale for the biotech industry.

“With hundreds of emerging growth biotech companies calling San Francisco home – it is the perfect place for the 2016 BIO International Convention,” said Rachel King, BIO chairwoman and CEO of GlycoMimetics. “The Bay Area’s biotechnology sector is a microcosm of BIO’s membership. San Francisco offers an ideal venue for our members to form partnerships, raise capital and develop the connections critical for success. We are thrilled to be returning to San Francisco for the 2016 BIO International Convention.”

Based in Redwood City, Calif., Paul Hastings, president and CEO, OncoMed Pharmaceuticals and Governing Board Chair of BIO’s Emerging Companies Section (ECS), welcomes the return of the Convention to the birthplace of the biotechnology industry.

“Those of us working in the Bay Area’s biotechnology sector are pleased to host the 2016 return of the BIO International Convention to San Francisco,” said Hastings. “The BIO International Convention remains our industry’s most influential and important event. There is no better place to hold this global event than right here in the birthplace of biotechnology.”

Heading south to San Diego, the 2014 BIO International Convention will be held June 23-26 at the San Diego Convention Center. The 2015 event will be held June 15-18 in Philadelphia.

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