Once in a Blue Moon:  When BIO and DIA Worlds Collide #BIO2015 #DIA2015

This is a guest post from Susan K Finston, President of Finston Consulting. Do you have a response to Susan’s post? Respond in the comments section below.

SKFinston-Headshot2-Jun2015The term ‘Once in a Blue Moon’ traditionally refers to an event occurring rarely if at all.  This month will see two full moons – the first, last week on July 2nd, and the second, proverbial ‘blue moon,’ scheduled to occur on July 31st. Last month the biopharmaceutical industry experienced its own blue moon last month with simultaneous annual meetings of BIO2015 and the 51st Drug Industry Association (DIA) the week of June 15th.

While it is in the interest of both organizations to avoid this kind of conflict, it is sometimes unavoidable. To accommodate over 7,500 delegates and exhibitors, the DIA meeting planners identify meeting venues up to a decade or more into the future. With over 15,000 attendees from around the world, the BIO meeting is approximately twice the size of DIA, increasing the challenge of identifying good venues for the annual BIO Convention.


While BIO keynotes like Wynton Marsalis may bring the ‘cool’ to commercial life sciences, DIA traditionally provides timely updates from senior FDA officials, with important sessions this year on the 21st Century Cures Initiative.


Overall, the BIO Convention is  more international in scope, with a dedicated educational track for emerging markets, increasing presence of on the Convention Floor by foreign delegations, and opportunities for bilateral consultations with US stakeholders. Lawyers also traditionally attend BIO in larger numbers than DIA, with a separate IP Counsel educational track. For these constituencies, BIO may take precedence.

For Contract Research Organizations (CROs) and other service providers, though,  the DIA Annual Meeting is obligatory to meet with long-time clients who are more focused on domestic regulatory matters.  And for larger companies, it is not a case of ‘either or’ – they simply rise to the challenge of attending two major conferences the same week.

Bottom line:  for their core constituents, both the BIO International Convention and the DIA Meeting are important annual events.  Walking the floor of the DIA Annual Meeting in Washington DC (Monday, June 15th) and then transitioning to Philadelphia for BIO2015, exhibitors and participants reflected the obvious – many would rather not make the choice!

About the author:
President of Finston Consulting LLC since 2005, Susan works with innovative biotechnology and other clients ranging from start-up to Fortune-100, providing support for legal, transactional, policy and “doing business” issues in the US and globally. Together with biotechnology pioneer Ananda Chakrabarty, she also is co-founder of Amrita Therapeutics Ltd., an emerging biopharmaceutical company based in India with peptide drugs in in vivo research. Previous experience includes 11 years in the U.S Foreign Service with overseas tours in London, Tel Aviv, and Manila and at the Department of State in Washington DC. For more information on latest presentations and publications please visit finstonconsulting.com.

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