ANN ARBOR (WWJ) — MichBio, the association for Michigan’s biosciences industry, will welcome more than 300 bioscience professionals and service providers to its ninth annual Expo & Conference, to be held Tuesday and Wednesday, Oct. 15 and 16, at the Radisson Plaza Hotel in Kalamazoo.

The MichBio Expo is the largest annual gathering of Michigan bioscience industry professionals.

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This year the event theme is “Bio-Growth through Bio-Innovation.” It is only fitting that the Expo is set for Kalamazoo — a shining example of Michigan’s robust bio-industry that has seen much growth through novel discovery and development.

The Expo will kick off with a bus tour of local bioscience companies that includes stops at Jasper Clinical Research & Development Inc., Kalexsyn, Kalsec, Launch MI Lab, Stryker Medical, Stryker Instruments, and Vestaron Corp. The four-hour tour is a way to showcase the biotech innovations happening in and around Kalamazoo.

Immediately following the tour is the welcome and plenary luncheon featuring Mike Carusi, general partner at Advanced Technology Partners. Carusi is a thought leader that invests in the biopharmaceutical and medical devices sectors and has been featured on Forbes “Midas List of Top Tech Investors.”

Next on the agenda is the Emerging Biosciences Showcase featuring nine early-stage companies that will present their new technologies before venture capital and angel investors. These include: Advaita Corp., Brio Device, DataSpeaks, ENT Biotech, HealthCure, Microbion, SIB Medical, and Social Patient. All will have received prior coaching from the Michigan Small Business & Technology Development Center.

“The Showcase is a great opportunity for emerging bioscience ventures to begin honing their pitch skills for potential investors,” said Stephen Rapundalo, MichBio president and CEO. “A number of past Showcase presenters have gone on to achieve great success in their fundraising efforts and business growth.”

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The CEOs Unplugged follows with top executives from Southwest Michigan Innovation Center, Amway Corp., Proteos, Xoran Technologies, and Housey Pharmaceuticals who will share their perspectives and outlooks on a range of state, national and global topics, including how the state’s bio-industry can be more competitive.

Day one winds down with a special Town Hall presentation by Senator Debbie Stabenow who will provide an informal chat on the timely issues affecting the Michigan and U.S. bio-industry.

Day two of the Expo will be packed full of educational track sessions in Bioscience Technologies, Business Growth, and Human Health with topics ranging from “Regulatory Pains,” to “The Promise of Molecular Diagnostics,” to “Modernizing Clinical Trail Paradigms & Tools,” to “Innovation & IP — Trolls and a Myriad More.”

In addition, MichBio will present several key awards during the event:
* The “Legislator of the Year” award recognizes a state or federal legislator who has devoted outstanding efforts on behalf of Michigan’s biosciences industry
* The “Innovator of the Year” award recognizes an individual that has made a significant innovative development during calendar year 2013
* The “Good to Great” award recognizes the Michigan company whose business concept, entrepreneurialism, leadership, and work ethic have produced a leap forward in results

Wrapping up this year’s event will be a keynote address by Stelios Papadopoulos, a long-time bio-industry leader and co-founder and board chairman of Exelixis Inc. Dr. Papadopoulos is also considered one of the “Top 100 Living Contributors to Biotechnology” and one of BioWorld’s “Biotech’s Original Movers and Shakers,” with over 30 years’ experience as an investment banker, company founder, investor, and board member.

“We’re honored to have someone as distinguished as Dr. Papadopoulos as our 2013 keynote speaker,” said Dr. Rapundalo. “His career and accomplishments define the 2013 Expo’s theme of ‘Bio-Growth through Bio-Innovation’ and the evolution of bio-industry clusters nationally, including Michigan.”

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Details on the 2014 MichBio Expo & Conference will be shared at as they become available.