Biotech Pioneer to Keynote Governor’s Life Sciences Summit & Annual Meeting October 24

Governor’s Life Sciences Summit and Annual Meeting 2014

SEATTLE--()--Chris Rivera, President of the Washington Biotechnology & Biomedical Association (WBBA) announced today that Steven Gillis, PhD, Managing Director, ARCH Venture Partners, and a longtime veteran of the biotechnology industry in Washington State, has been confirmed as keynote speaker for the Governor’s Life Sciences Summit and Annual Meeting Friday, October 24.

“to Support and Help Grow Washington State’s Life Science Ecosystem”

In making the announcement, Mr. Rivera said, “We are very excited to have Steve Gillis as our keynote speaker this year. Dr. Gillis co-founded Immunex in 1981 and developed the breakthrough drug Enbrel for autoimmune diseases that proved to be a blockbuster success for Amgen. Later, he co-founded Corixa, which was sold to GlaxoSmithKline. He is now managing director at ARCH Venture Partners, which is involved in multiple life science venture funding efforts, many of which are Seattle-based companies including VentiRx Pharmaceuticals, Theraclone Sciences, PhaseRx and Juno Therapeutics.”

In his announcement, Mr. Rivera noted that Dr. Gillis will provide an overview of the genesis and growth of the life science industry in the region, along with adding his insight into the future of the industry.

Dr. Gillis added his enthusiastic acceptance of the invitation to keynote by saying, “My career and the timeline for WBBA’s existence are closely aligned. I look forward to painting a picture of the past 30+ years of the history of biotechnology and how the life science industry has evolved, as well as what I believe is necessary for its continued successful growth.”

Dr. Gillis’ keynote will closely tie into this year’s celebration of the WBBA’s 25th anniversary, Washington State’s life science trade association. In addition to the celebration of the 25th anniversary of the WBBA, the program will include the second address by Governor Jay Inslee and the 10th annual Governor’s Life Sciences Summit.

Following the keynote speakers, Mr. Rivera will release the fifth Annual Life Sciences Economic Impact Report for the state of Washington. Past economic reports have contained critical information regarding the number of direct and indirect life science jobs in the state, growth numbers within the industry over the past year, and other important statistical information for one of the state’s largest industry sectors.

Held at the Meydenbauer Center in Bellevue, WA, attendance for this exciting program is expected to approach 1,000 executives from the life science industry throughout the Pacific Northwest. The event demonstrates the importance of one of Washington’s largest and fastest growing job sectors.

Further information regarding the Governor’s Life Sciences Summit and Annual Meeting can be found by following this LINK.

About the WBBA

The Washington Biotechnology & Biomedical Association (WBBA) has over 650 member organizations and is an independent, non-profit 501(c)(6) trade association serving the life sciences industry in the state of Washington. It is completely resourced and supported by its members, including organizations engaged in, or supportive of, research, development and commercialization of life science innovation.

The WBBA’s Mission, “to Support and Help Grow Washington State’s Life Science Ecosystem,” drives its core strategic focus on:

  • Innovation – working closely with and supporting our research institutions, inventors and entrepreneurs to broaden the impact of breakthrough discoveries
  • Capital – facilitating access to capital, especially early stage funding and strategic collaboration
  • Talent – helping to recruit, train and retain the talent needed to grow life sciences in Washington
  • Environment – ensuring that Washington is a great place to start, grow and promote the organizations needed to remain competitive and prosperous


Washington Biotechnology & Biomedical Association
Dennis Kroft, 206-456-9565
Director of Marketing & Membership

Release Summary

Chris Rivera (WBBA) announced today that Steven Gillis, PhD (ARCH Venture Partners), has been confirmed as keynote speaker for the Governor’s Life Sciences Summit and Annual Meeting Friday, Oct. 24.

Washington Biotechnology & Biomedical Association