Midwest Biodefense Summit brings local bioscience giants and newbies together

With North Dakota State University as a Carnegie R1 research institution, it is now one of the top 100 public research universities in the country. The goal now, keep the graduates in our community.

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Speakers kick off the two-day Midwest Biodefense Summit at the Holiday Inn in Fargo Tuesday, March 14.
Ryan Longnecker / WDAY News

FARGO — Tuesday, March 14 marked the beginning of the two-day Midwest Biodefense Summit in Fargo. The summit aims to bring together firms and investors in the areas of biotech, medicine, government and higher education.

Genovac develops antibodies to be used in the research and development of potential cancer drugs. Work that is usually found on the East and West Coast is now part of a growing biotech community in Fargo Moorhead.

"Great to see the community and state support for the industry. It's a high-growth industry in the country and provides great paying jobs and has a product that's ultimately, in some cases, providing curative solutions for people with really tough diseases, so it's great to have that in our community," said Genovac CEO Brian Walter.

On Tuesday, Genovac — previously connected to Aldevron — announced they are teaming with cancer researchers at NDSU and using Genovac's antibodies to help in the search for new cancer treatments.

"What it does for us is give great opportunities for our students, great opportunities to recruit the top faculty, and at the end of the day, putting out research that's really making a difference in society," said NDSU President David Cook.


The goal of the Midwest Biodefense Summit? Connect young, growing companies with leaders and investors in the industry and to keep the momentum moving, changing the minds of those who thought Fargo-Moorhead was an unlikely spot to grow biotech.

Kevin Wallevand has been a Reporter at WDAY-TV since 1983. He is a native of Vining, Minnesota in Otter Tail County. His series and documentary work have brought him to Africa, Vietnam, Haiti, Kosovo, South America, Mongolia, Juarez,Mexico and the Middle East. He is an multiple Emmy and national Edward R. Murrow award recipient.

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