Nine Years of Interaction

As the staff of Neurotech Reports gets ready for our Ninth Annual Neurotech Leaders Forum, to be held this year in Newport Beach October 26-27, it gives us a chance to look back on how much has happened in our industry since our first event in 2001. Coming within a few weeks of the attacks of September 11, that event only drew about a dozen attendees. But the energy was high and the topics discussed, including the selection of terminology we would use to categorize our new industry, proved to be relevant issues in the years that followed.

Though some of the issues on the agenda for this year’s event, including reimbursement, financing, and device design, have been discussed before, there are several new themes this year. For the first time, we are including a track devoted to the neuropharmaceutical industry, in conjunction with our partner NI Research, the publisher of the ­NeuroInvestment newsletter. NeuroInvestment editor Harry Tracy has put together two panels of neuropharm industry executives for industry sessions to be held on the second day of the conference. Tracy will also lead two overview courses himself on the first day of the event.

While many of the readers of this newsletter may be more concerned with neurotech devices than drugs and cell therapies, there could be considerable benefit to having these firms present. Several plenary sessions, which are targeted at all attendees, cover areas of concern to both industries. For example, on the first day, Neurotech Reports and NeuroInvestment editors will participate in a panel discussion on neurological disorders where panelists will offer their views on the strengths and weaknesses of available therapies—both drug and device—for each particular category of neurological disease or disorder. That session will be followed by another panel of clinicians and consumers, who will address the shortcomings of existing therapies from their point of view.

And in a first-of-its-kind session on the second day of the event, this editor and NeuroInvestment editor Harry Tracy will offer a look back on some of the commercial failures in both the neurotech device and neuro­pharma industries, with each of us offering our point of view on what went wrong and what lessons those failures may offer today’s entrepreneurs and executives.

We’re certainly aware that there are a multitude of conferences and events that professionals in this industry attend and that is difficult—especially in a soft economy—to go to them all. But for readers of this publication who have attended the Neurotech Leaders Forum in the past, as well as those who haven’t, we feel (with some obvious bias) that the 2009 event will be a unique and rewarding experience for participants.

As always, we welcome your feedback on topics to be included in future events and any suggestions to make the conference more useful.

James Cavuoto
Editor and Publisher



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