The world's biggest annual biotechnology conference opens this week in Toronto, providing a forum for boosters as well as detractors of an industry where stock prices have been hammered by regulatory setbacks.
The sector has had a tough year in terms of financial performance. The American Stock Exchange biotech index closed Friday at 361.90, a 44% drop from where it stood 12 months earlier.
This year, more than 12,000 representatives from health care, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology are expected to attend the convention.
The conference will feature several symposiums, including a session today addressing ways to smooth the Food and Drug Administration drug approval process. Topics such as when a company should give up on an experimental drug and whether drug development costs are justified will be the focus of other discussions.