NEW YORK — More than 100 investors and entrepreneurs met at a first-of-its-kind conference today to discuss profits and AIDS, the fatal disease that participants said could earn the business sector untold billions of dollars.
"There is a tremendous opportunity in the AIDS market of a magnitude beyond anything we have now," said Matthew Heil, a biotechnology consultant who spoke to business executives at the daylong conference.
"Look at vaccines, look at viral therapy," he said. "An effective drug would bring, I believe, $1.6 billion back to the maker. Even spread among several drugs, that is a substantial amount of money."
The somberly dressed executives took copious notes in a Manhattan hotel meeting room.
Conference organizers--two companies that specialize in holding seminars on business opportunities in various health fields--said the meeting was not exploitative, but practical.