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Bio•IT World’s New Beginning

By Kevin Davies

April 14, 2006 | Last month marked the fourth anniversary of the launch of Bio•IT World, and an exciting new step in our evolution.

As you have probably heard by now, I’m excited to write that we have been acquired by Cambridge Healthtech Institute (CHI). The formal name of our new company has the catchy title of Cambridge Bio Collaborative, or CBC for short (not to be confused with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation). Our former publisher, IDG, retains a minority stake in this new entity.

CHI is best known for producing more than 80 highly reputed scientific conferences in the United States each year. The best known among them include events such as Molecular Medicine Tri-Conference (February), the World Pharmaceutical Congress (May), and Beyond the Genome (June). Indeed, over the past 14 years, CHI has produced more than 400 conferences, attracting more than 50,000 attendees from around the world.

Bio•IT World and CHI have enjoyed a good relationship before the current deal was finalized. CHI president Phillips Kuhl is a founding member of the magazine’s editorial advisory board, and the two organizations jointly produced and hosted “Bridging Discovery and IT” last September in Philadelphia — an event we look forward to expanding later this year.

Kuhl commented on the deal as follows: “This agreement represents a new era for Cambridge Healthtech Institute as we expand our information sources for life sciences practitioners and marketers to include online and print media. Bio•IT World has a superior reputation validated by the several dozen editorial and design awards its staff has earned in just three years.”

The sale of Bio•IT World was handled for IDG by Bob Carrigan, president, IDG Communications, who reflected on the deal: “Bio•IT World combined with CHI will become the key information and conference resource for the industry.”

Bio•IT World will not be the sole publication produced by CHI. Late last year, CHI acquired Pharmaceutical Discovery magazine from Advanstar. That publication will be relaunched next month as Pharmaceutical Discovery & Development, with my former colleague and senior bioinformatics editor Malorye Branca at the helm. The magazine will be published bimonthly for the remainder of this year.

These have not been the easiest times for the publishing industry, which has had to swiftly identify and seize upon online media opportunities. Bio•IT World has done extensive work in this regard, launching a series of specialized e-newsletters including eCliniqua, Inside IT, and Microarray Technology Review; the “Briefing On...” series of executive reports on key topics including systems biology, high-performance computing, and the $1,000 genome; and a digital magazine (Health•IT World), which may have been just a little ahead of its time.

The importance of evolving with the times is one of the most important lessons from our tenure with IDG. Another is the importance of this industry, reflected by the unbridled enthusiasm and passion that IDG founder and president Pat McGovern brought to every discussion and Board meeting we had over the past four years. McGovern was an inspiration to everyone at Bio•IT World past and present, and we are convinced that last month’s fruitful deal with CHI would not have happened without his unyielding conviction, faith, and patience in our industry over the past several years.

We are grateful to Pat, Bob, and our past presidents, Morris Levitt and Alan Bergstein, for shepherding Bio•IT World to this exciting juncture. Doubtless I’ll have more to say about our future direction and initiatives in the coming months.

While it pains me slightly as an Oxford graduate to be joining a company with “Cambridge” in the title, I’m sure I’ll get over it.

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