Biogen Idec takes center stage at the biotech industry’s prime investor conference

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SAN FRANCISCO – Hour after hour, from early morning until the sun slips behind the hills, a parade of eager biotechnology entrepreneurs come to court the industry heavyweight from back East that has set up camp at Hotel Nikko.

They bear business cards, Powerpoint presentations, and rosy projections of success. They hope to persuade the Cambridge-based drug maker Biogen Idec Inc. — which vaulted to the top ranks of global biotechs over the past year by doubling its worth to $64 billion — to invest in their experimental medicines, license their drug candidates, or even buy a chunk of their start-ups.

Ushered into a suite with three colleagues, the leader of a West Coast biotech passes out printed copies of his pitch to Biogen Idec executives and declares, “We want to build a relationship.” Translation: We need to be associated with one of the hottest biotechnology companies on the planet.

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