A Talk with BIOCOM's President and CEO

The head of the San Diego biotech trade group sees dramatic breakthroughs coming -- and a need to better communicate with the public

Did BIO 2001, the world's largest annual biotechnology convention, live up to its advance billing? Joseph D. Panetta sure thinks so. Panetta is president and CEO of BIOCOM, an association for San Diego's rapidly growing biotech, medical device, and bio-agriculture industries. Many observers expected the convention to arouse passionate protests among groups opposed to bioengineering, but hardly any sparks were ignited (see BW Online, 6/27/01, "At BIO 2001, It's Scientists 1, Protesters 0"). BusinessWeek Los Angeles Correspondent Arlene Weintraub caught up with Panetta on the conference's final day, June 27. Following are edited excerpts from their conversation:

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