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UBS Securities Hosts Global Life Sciences Conference
NEW YORK, September 22, 2003 - The UBS Global Life Sciences Conference begins today at the Plaza Hotel in New York City and runs through Thursday, September 25. The Conference will feature presentations and panels by close to 400 companies from a comprehensive group of public and private biotechnology, medical devices, pharmaceutical, and specialty pharmaceutical companies representing 22 different countries.
This conference comes at an important turning point for the life sciences industry," said Meirav Chovav, UBS' U.S. biotechnology analyst and conference host. We are currently seeing a passing of the guard from the pharmaceutical companies, which are facing the challenges of slowing growth, to biotechnology and other emerging health care technology companies, which are coming of age with the biggest product cycle that the industries have seen, thanks to the acceleration of regulatory submissions and approvals for new products. Many of the life sciences companies representing leading growth opportunities will present at the conference, providing a valuable opportunity for investors to gain insights into the future directions of the industry."
The four-day conference will feature a series of luncheon physician panels in four medical markets of major investor interest. The panels will be lively Q&A discussions with noted thought leaders, clinical trial investigators and busy practitioners to learn from their insights into their areas of expertise:
Monday, Sept. 22, Oncology Panel: Following recent positive data for Genentech's Avastin, treatment for colorectal cancer is likely to undergo a major paradigm shift. Assuming approval, this product is anticipated to impact the current standard of care in multiple solid tumors. The panel of oncologists will detail how they expect to incorporate Avastin and other potentially approved products, such as Imclone's Erbitux, into the care of their colorectal cancer patients. Additional discussion will center around the use of Avastin in other solid tumors such as renal cell and pancreatic cancers. The panel will also be open to discussion of other therapeutics in their area of expertise.
Tuesday, Sept. 23, Erectile Dysfunction Panel: Since 1998, the erectile dysfunction (ED) market has been dominated by Pfizer's Viagra, which has grown to over $1.7 billion in worldwide sales in 2002. Viagra now faces the competitive threat of two new entrants. Lilly/ICOS' Cialis is now available in about 40 countries, with U.S. approval anticipated in 4Q03. Bayer/GlaxoSmithKline's Levitra received FDA approval in August 2003 and is marketed in roughly 50 countries. We have invited a panel of erectile dysfunction experts to discuss their perspectives on the changing dynamics of the worldwide ED market.
Wednesday, Sept. 24, Asthma/Immunology Panel: Until recently the therapy of asthma has been one area of medicine that has not been impacted by biologic therapeutics. This has changed with the recent approval and launch of Genentech's Xolair for allergic asthma. Xolair has been called one of the major breakthroughs in allergy treatment over the past 30 years" by a leading allergy society and will likely be incorporated into treatment guidelines for allergic asthma. The panel will discuss Xolair's role in this disease, other potential indications for this agent as well as additional asthma therapeutics.
Thursday, Sept. 25: Multiple Sclerosis Panel: Multiple sclerosis (MS) was one of the first areas where biologics were used to successfully treat autoimmune disease, with the introduction of Schering AG/Chiron's Betaseron almost 10 years ago. Since that time, the market has become increasingly competitive, with the introduction of Biogen's Avonex, Serono/Pfizer's Rebif , and Teva/Aventis' Copaxone; and large, with combined sales totaling over $3 billion per year. We have invited a panel of multiple sclerosis experts to discuss the current worldwide market dynamics and the prospects of new emerging therapies in the MS market such as Biogen/Elan's Antegren.
In the current overall economic environment of modest growth and uncertainty, we believe that health care in general, and biotechnology in particular, represents an attractive high-growth sector for investors," Chovav said. Because biotechnology drugs generally treat serious, life-threatening and unmet medical needs, the revenues and earnings of companies are generally insensitive to changes in the macroeconomic environment. Although biotechnology stocks represent relatively volatile and high-risk opportunities, we certainly believe that there are attractive investment opportunities in the sector."
Online conference information
To access audio transmissions and the conference agenda please go to the UBS Investment Bank website at www.ibb.ubs.com. Audio transmissions of company presentations will be available live and by replay. Replays will begin three hours after the actual presentation time and will be available on the site for a period of four weeks.
The Global Life Sciences Conference underscores UBS's comprehensive approach to covering the Heathcare industry, with more than 220 companies covered by nearly 60 research professionals. This coverage extends to 23 countries, enabling cross-border and cross sector comparisons.
UBS Securities is a business group of UBS AG (NYSE: UBS), one of the largest financial services firms in the world with more than 69,000 employees in more than 40 countries. UBS is a leader in equities, corporate finance, M&A advisory and financing, financial structuring, fixed income issuance and trading, foreign exchange, derivatives and risk management.
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