AACR postpones April meeting over COVID-19 concerns

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The American Association for Cancer Research has postponed its April meeting, one of the largest medical meetings so far to be canceled due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

For AACR, meetings and workshops represent about one quarter of the revenue, but the annual meeting is a flagship event, and has grown from an important research conference to a major item on biotech’s oncology calendar, arguably matching ASCO (see “Hidden Consequences of COVID-19”).

AACR said it expects to reschedule the meeting, which had been set for April 24-29 in San Diego, in the near future. At least 21 other healthcare conferences have been affected by the COVID-19 outbreak, including cancellations, reschedulings and options to attend virtually (see “COVID-19: A Guide to Conferences”).

“This evidence-based decision was made after a thorough review and discussion of all factors impacting the Annual Meeting, including the U.S. government’s enforcement of restrictions on international travelers to enter the U.S.; the imposition of travel restrictions issued by U.S. government agencies, cancer centers, academic institutions, and pharmaceutical and biotech companies and the counsel of infectious disease experts,” AACR said in a statement.

In 2003, the organization canceled its meeting during the SARS crisis.

The postponement comes after Bio-Europe Spring announced that its Paris meeting this month will be held virtually (see “Bio-Europe Spring will be First Test for Virtual Partnering”).

Further analysis of the coronavirus crisis can be found at https://www.biocentury.com/coronavirus.

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