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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, January 25, 2004

Who's whom at UH biotechnology forum

 •  Can San Diego provide an economic roadmap for us?

On Wednesday, Enterprise Honolulu and the University of Hawai'i's John A. Burns School of Medicine will present a symposium on how Hawai'i developers can capitalize on the Islands' emerging biotechnology sector.

The forum will be led by a panel from San Diego's biotech sector and will focus on the risks and opportunities in the development of "wet labs," which are an indispensable ingredient in biotech R&D facilities. According to Enterprise Honolulu, a nonprofit, nonpartisan economic development organization, in 2003 Hawai'i lost at least eight biotechnology companies to other regions because of the lack of wet-lab space and venture capital.

Panelists will include Guy Iannuzzi, president & CEO of Mentus, a San Diego biotech marketing company; Kennon W. Baldwin, president of McGraw/Baldwin Architects; Todd Anson, managing member of Cisterra Partners, a development company specializing in tech facilities; and Elliot Parks, president of Ventana, a California venture-capital firm opening an office in Honolulu.

Luncheon keynote speaker will be Dr. Ivor Royston, managing member of Forward Ventures, a nationally recognized physician-scientist in cancer immunology and founder of biotech firm Hybritech.

The symposium costs $35 per person and will take place from 7:30 to 11:30 a.m. on the second floor at the Sheraton Waikiki. Cost for the symposium plus luncheon is $100 per person($60 tax deductible). Luncheon will be from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in Kauai & Maui ballrooms at the hotel.

To register online, see www.enterprisehonolulu.com or reach Joanne Ikehara at 956-5507 or ikeharaj@hawaii.edu.

Symposium topics will include:

  • What drives capital for both venture and facilities investment in biotech?
  • What does the business pro-forma look like for the development of profitable research space?
  • What are the technical requirements for wet and dry labs and clean rooms?
  • How will I know when to enter the market?

The panel is a must-see for any local developer interested in learning about San Diego's biotech success story and how Hawai'i companies might benefit from these lessons:

Guy Iannuzzi, president & CEO of Mentus, 1980 founder of San Diego's original biotechnology marketing agency and involved with presenting to Wall Street the value proposition for technology ventures, REITs, medical services, real estate ventures and leading biotechnology companies.

One of the founders of BIOCOM, San Diego's biotech professional association, Mentus has been IDEC Pharmaceuticals' communications agency for over 14 years.

Kennon W. Baldwin, president of McGraw/Baldwin Architects, has more than 25 years design experience in biotechnology (wet and dry labs/clean rooms), medical device, communications and electronics industries with advanced technology facility projects.

Todd Anson, managing member, Cisterra Partners, is a San Diego developer of high-tech and biotech space including the 3.4 million square feet of campuses for Cisco Systems worldwide and IDEC's 768,000 square-foot headquarters, initially labor union-funded.

Cisterra was named the San Diego NAIOP Developer of the Year and the IDEC headquarters campus was the NAIOP Project of the Year.

Elliot Parks, managing director, for life sciences, Ventana Global Management. Ventana, a Southern California-based venture-capital firm, is in the process of establishing and funding Technology Gateway Partnership II, an early-stage technology and life-sciences venture fund with offices in Hawai'i.

Dr. Parks has been involved in institutional and corporate venture for over 15 years and has been director of operations at the Scripps Clinic and Research Foundation, director of the Johnson & Johnson Biotechnology Center, and CEO of a biotechnology company.

Dr. Ivor Royston, co-founder and managing member of Forward Ventures, is a nationally recognized physician-scientist in cancer immunology, and founder of San Diego biotech firm Hybritech and later, IDEC Pharmaceuticals, which recently merged with Biogen to become Biogen-IDEC.