May 17, 2018

Biopharmaceutical Execs Come to the Brazos Valley for BioPhorum

Steve Fullhart

Dozens of the world’s leaders in the biopharmaceutical industry gathered in Bryan/College Station to share best practices, exchange ideas and learn more about what makes this region unique and well-suited for business growth.

About 60 delegates from the BioPhorum conference spent part of their annual meeting in the twin cities and on the Texas A&M University campus touring local facilities and hearing from experts.

BioPhorum is a private, by invitation only group of executives from the world’s top biopharmaceutical manufacturing and supplier companies. The 2018 gathering began in Houston Monday, May 14, and they made the short trip north Wednesday, May 16.

“This year has been very special because we’ve addressed a new area of great importance to us in the industry, which is cell and gene therapy,” said Simon Chalk, director of the BioPhorum Operations Group. “Texas has proved to be a fantastic location for discussing that new area because there’s a lot going on here. We’ve had a fantastic welcome, which creates a fantastic environment for networking and learning and talking about cell and gene therapy.”

As part of their time in the Research Valley, delegates toured the College Station FUJIFILM Diosynth facility. The company develops and manufactures recombinant proteins, vaccines, monoclonal antibodies and more. FUJIFILM has executives as BioPhorum members, including the COO overseeing the College Station facility, Gerry Farrell.

“Today was a wonderful day for FUJIFILM, for the Brazos Valley and for Bryan/College Station,” Farrell said. “We had a great tour for our industry leaders at our facility, and they got a good view of what we already know the Brazos Valley has to offer. We’ve gotten support from Texas A&M and the Research Valley Partnership, and we’ve been able to attract people into the area, so it’s been a good experience for us here.”

A tour of the G-CON Manufacturing plant in College Station was also offered. G-CON designs, produces and installs prefabricated, autonomous cleanroom PODs used in scientific facilities across the country and around the world.

Texas A&M researchers led discussions with BioPhorum delegates. Presentations were made on product development for the modernization of biopharmaceuticals, A&M’s genomics capabilities and the university’s Center for Translational Research in Aging and Longevity. BioPhorum also received a briefing on A&M’s Global Health Complex, a 102,000 square foot facility which, when completed next year, will study the transmission of contagious diseases and search for ways to prevent them. 

“The BioPhorum event is a big opportunity for us,” said Casey Oldham, the chairman of the board of the Research Valley Partnership. “It’s the first time they’ve ever been in Texas, and the RVP and Texas A&M have rolled out the red carpet for them. We’re so happy with our partnership with A&M, and we’re very fortunate to have such great research and great leaders that made this possible.”

Wednesday was capped off with a dinner event at the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library & Museum. Community and state leaders joined with BioPhorum delegates to discuss what the region has to offer their industry and businesses.

“The Brazos Valley is exactly what the bio companies are looking for: a business-friendly environment that fosters growth in the bio and tech industries, the best talent in the world, land, infrastructure, low taxes, low cost of doing business, and a great quality of life,” said RVP President/CEO Matt Prochaska. “We’re fortunate to have a community, its many organizations and our state pulling together to make this a great destination to do business.”

Thursday, May 17, the delegates are slated to continue their discussions, with some attending the Texas A&M baseball game in the evening.


About The Research Valley Partnership
The Research Valley Partnership is a public-private economic development corporation serving the citizens of Brazos County, Texas. The Partnership pursues economic growth in the county without regard to jurisdiction through its programs, services and initiatives to help launch, grow and locate companies in Brazos County.


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