I emailed Blog-colleague Ramsey Baghdadi last week to agree completely with his May 11 post about the security around this year's BIO event. (Even those of us who preregistered were similarly routed 3/4 around the center, by the way...) And I agree with him that some of the sessions were surprisingly more content driven than in the past: for this meeting I always wonder whether it's more presumptuous to expect to hear nothing new at the show, or to expect to hear something of merit. The 2007 edition appeared to be fine fodder for the freelance trade press, certainly, judging from the number of surprisingly pithy story pitches in my email afterward.
That said, there's no doubt that the spirit of innovation lives on in the hearts and minds of companies, investors, and other biotech stakeholders. And it's not even that BIO's voice is the wrong voice. It's just not -- no longer -- a voice of innovation. The Emerging Companies Section -- a notion integral to the merger between IBA and the smaller ABC that created BIO way back in 1993 -- appears to be fading away. In light of its policy positions, when the organization in its role of external advocate speaks of risk-taking, it rings hollow.