The Eighth International Biotechnology Meeting and Expositionformally opens in Toronto on Tuesday night with a keynote addressfrom Vice President Al Gore's Chief Domestic Policy Advisor, GregSimon. According to the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO),between 1,800 and 2,000 people are expected to attend.Last year's meeting in Research Triangle Park, N.C., drew a total of1,400 attendees and was sponsored by the Association ofBiotechnology Companies, which merged with the IndustrialBiotechnology Association last July to form BIO. Simon was also thekeynote speaker at that event.Last year, Simon told attendees that "I don't think there's ever been apresident as committed to the future of science and technology as BillClinton." Just months later, Clinton introduced his Health Security Act.Almost immediately, the biotechnology industry mobilized inopposition to portions of that legislation, most particularly a committeeto review the prices of new drugs, which they claimed would kill theindustry.BIO members from all over the world will attend the Toronto meeting,including individuals from Indonesia, Colombia, Malaysia, Thailand,Cuba, The Netherlands, Spain, France, and Germany. At least 170companies plan to set up exhibit booths.BIO's board of directors is slated to meet privately in Toronto todayand workshops will be held, beginning Tuesday, for the rest of theweek. _ Lisa Piercey

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