BIOCOM is formed in the merger of San Diego's two prior biotech trade associations, the San Diego Biocommerce Association and the Biotechnology Industry Council. BIOCOM/San Diego promotes “scientific and technological innovation” in the Southern California life sciences community. The association was named by Ken Baldwin, a San Diego architect who specializes in biomedical construction. He explained that the name simultaneously evokes “biocommerce,” “biocommunication,” and “biocommunity.”
BIOCOM’s first managing director is Ann Randolph (current Policy Advisor at the Kentucky Department for Energy Development and Independence). Duane Roth, former CEO of Alliance Pharmaceuticals and current CEO of CONNECT, is the first Chairman. In 1999, BIOCOM’s Board of Directors recruits Joe Panetta, former Vice President of Government and Public affairs at San Diego agbiotech firm Mycogen, Inc., to be the organization’s first President and CEO. Under Panetta's leadership, BIOCOM membership doubles and the organization's revenue grows to $3 million as opposed to $700,000 before his arrival at BIOCOM.
BIOCOM/San Diego today boasts a membership of over 550 private and public biomedical companies.