New Jersey Governor Chris Christie to Address BioNJ 2012 Annual Meeting

TRENTON, NJ (November 16) – BioNJ, the trade association for New Jersey’s growing biotechnology industry, will welcome New Jersey Governor Chris Christie to address attendees at the association’s 2012 Annual Dinner Meeting, Awards Program and Networking Event on Thursday, February 2.  The event will be held at the East Brunswick Hilton in East Brunswick, NJ beginning at 5:00 p.m.

“We are honored that Governor Christie has graciously agreed to speak before New Jersey’s biotechnology community at our Annual Dinner Meeting,” said Debbie Hart, president of BioNJ.  “New Jersey’s biotechnology industry has grown from 80 companies in 1998 to more than 325 today, and the Governor’s participation at our meeting affirms the biotechnology industry’s continued and growing importance to the economic and social fabric of our State.”

Hart added, “The Christie Administration’s commitment to improving the business climate in New Jersey is well-known.  Specific to our industry, Governor Christie and

Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno have supported a number of measures that have helped to advance biotechnology in New Jersey.  We look forward to hearing the Governor’s views on how we can continue to support the growth and success of our industry in New Jersey.”

Among the Christie Administration’s initiatives that have supported biotechnology in New Jersey, Hart cited continued support of the Technology Business Tax Certificate Transfer program, an increase in the Research and Development Tax Credit rate from 50 percent to 100 percent by January 2012 and the naming of BioNJ as one of six organizations to run special “Talent Networks” by the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development.\

About the BioNJ Annual Dinner Meeting

Celebrating its 19th anniversary in 2012, the BioNJ Annual Dinner Meeting, Awards Program and Networking event with its theme of Friends Hope Inspiration has grown from a small gathering of companies to now serving as a signature event that brings the New Jersey biotechnology community together.  BioNJ member companies range from early-stage start-up ventures to large, multi-billion dollar publicly-traded companies.

Attracting senior representatives from the State’s biotechnology, pharmaceutical and life science companies, professional service providers, funding organizations and patient groups, participation in the event has grown each year.  The 2011 event attracted more than 500 attendees, and the number is expected to increase again this year.

The evening includes numerous networking opportunities, and in 2012 will feature the presentation of the fifth annual Dr. Sol J. Barer Award for Vision, Innovation and Leadership.   Named for Dr. Sol J. Barer, the former Chairman and CEO of Celgene Corporation of Summit, NJ and current Chairman of the BioNJ Board of Trustees, the award recognizes outstanding biotechnology industry business leaders who have made significant contributions to the growth and prosperity of the industry in New Jersey and throughout the world.

The 2011 honoree was John Crowley, Chairman and CEO of Amicus Therapeutics of Cranbury, NJ.  Past award winners also include: Dr. Barer; Dr. Lisa Drakeman, former President and CEO of Genmab; and John H. Johnson, President and CEO of Savient Pharmaceuticals.  The recipient of the 2012 award will be announced later this year.

About BioNJ

With more than 300 member companies, BioNJ is singularly focused on the growth and prosperity of New Jersey’s biotechnology cluster.  Founded in 1994 by New Jersey industry CEOs, BioNJ serves as the voice of biotechnology companies located in New Jersey, seeks to advance their economic growth and development and works to encourage new and established companies from around the world to locate to New Jersey. BioNJ represents companies engaged in biopharmaceutical, biomedical, bioagricultural and bioremedial endeavors.

To learn more about BioNJ and the Annual Dinner Meeting, please visit www.BioNJ.org.