Colorado BioScience Association
Colorado BioScience Association

Colorado BioScience Association Honors the Best of Colorado’s Bioscience Industry

The Colorado BioScience Association (CBSA) has released winners of its 2008 Awards Program. Official presentation of the awards occurs Thursday, November 13, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., at the CBSA’s annual awards dinner. Governor Bill Ritter, Jr., recipient of one of this year’s Chairman’s Awards, will serve as the Cooley Godward Kronish keynote speaker for this event as the Colorado Bioscience Association celebrates its fifth anniversary.

Denver, CO, November 07, 2008 --( The Colorado BioScience Association (CBSA) has released winners of its 2008 Awards Program. The announcement is made by Christine Shapard, CBSA Interim Executive Director, who says the CBSA awards program showcases and honors those individuals and companies making a significant difference to Colorado’s vibrant bioscience industry this year.

Official presentation of the awards occurs Thursday, November 13, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., at the Denver Grand-Hyatt, 1750 Welton. Held in conjunction with the 2008 BioWest Conference & Expo, registration information is available at BioWest is the region’s preferred venue for meeting investors, entrepreneurs, researchers, students, teachers and key industry vendors.

Governor Bill Ritter, Jr., recipient of one of this year’s Chairman’s Awards, will serve as the keynote speaker for the event as the Colorado Bioscience Association celebrates its fifth anniversary. In addition, Tamra Miaja, Biology teacher at Bear Creek High School, and Jim Rizzi, Array BioPharma, will speak about the CBSA’s inaugural externship program. The winner of the 2008 Venture Showcase competition will also be announced at the dinner.

Recipients of the CBSA’s 2008 awards include:

* Partner of the Year - Cooley Godward Kronish - The CBSA, as well as Colorado’s bioscience companies, rely on numerous, highly-respected partners to be successful. This year, the law firm of Cooley Godward Kronish has been one of those outstanding organizations and is being recognized as Partner of the Year. The firm is a corporate sponsor of the Association at the highest level, its partners sit on several of the CBSA’s committees, and partner Jim Linfield recently helped to entice Nobel Laureate Tom Cech back to Colorado. Further, our CBSA companies rely on the firm’s unparalleled ability to help find and structure financing on a regular basis.

* Lifetime Achievement – Jay Gershen, DDS, PhD - Dr. Jay Gershen, the Vice Chancellor for External Affairs at the University of Colorado Denver, was one of the original board and executive committee members, in 2002, of the Colorado Biotechnology Association which was the forerunner of the CBSA. His service on behalf of Fitzsimons, the nation’s largest bioscience campus is significant, as well. He was responsible for the initial master planning process for the Health Sciences Center’s move to the Fitzsimons Medical Army Garrison and has helped increase the visibility of Fitzsimons both locally and nationally. He is also a member of the executive committee and board of directors for Research America, an organization dedicated to increased funding for research.

* Company of the Year – CaridianBCT - This medical device company went from being a subsidiary of a publicly traded Swedish company to a separate stand-alone, independent U.S.-incorporated organization and in the process changed its name from Gambro BCT to CaridianBCT. Also this past year, CaridianBCT launched three major products that not only will move them into new markets but could double their revenue in just a few short years. Lastly, but certainly the most important from a Colorado standpoint, the company hired 450 employees in 2007 and so far have hired more than 465 in 2008 – with the majority of these positions located in Colorado.

* Rising Star – Sierra Neuropharmaceuticals - Sierra Neuropharmaceuticals, a CU spin-out, is located in the Colorado Science and Technology Park at Fitzsimons. Sierra’s technology is used to reformulate psychotropic drugs so that they can be delivered directly into the brain, without the harm associated with systemic therapies. In 2006, the CU researchers doing this work received a state proof-of-concept grant and just two years later, the company built on this technology – Sierra received a $21.5-million venture capital Series A financing. The company is now staffing up and will begin clinical trials shortly.

* Volunteer of the Year – Chris Lepore - Chris Lepore, Director of State Government Affairs for Johnson and Johnson, sits on the board of the CBSA and is very active on the Public Policy Committee. His commitment to the organization is evident when we hear of his membership development efforts on behalf of the CBSA with his pharmaceutical industry colleagues. Chris was instrumental in lining up J&J’s support for the CBSA’s Investor Conference which will happen next year and the Western Directors meeting that was hosted in Colorado in September.

* Educator of the Year – Brenda Dempsey - Brenda Dempsey, a biology teacher at Castle View High School, is working to increase awareness and understanding of the bioscience field to her students. She has brought them to BioWest for the past three years and also takes them to Cold Spring Harbor every year to work in the labs and see real science in action. The CBSA thought it would be appropriate to honor a Colorado teacher this year who has encouraged her students to learn about the bioscience industry.

* Chairman’s Award – Governor Bill Ritter, Jr. - Governor Bill Ritter has supported this industry from day-one of his administration. When he was elected in 2006, he named the bioscience industry one of the four sectors that he believed would be economic drivers for Colorado and he hired cabinet members and senior staff who understood the needs of the industry. We were pleased that he included the bioscience industry in his plan for Colorado’s future and even more so when in 2007 and 2008 his office included bioscience legislation in its economic development agenda. His support for house bill 1001 in 2008 was important but it was his decision to add $2 million per year for five years to the program that really showed his true colors. His understanding of our industry and our issues reflect his concern for Colorado’s future and for the people of Colorado.

* Chairman’s Award -- Denise Brown - Denise Brown took the CBSA organization from 20 to 400 members, from not much in the bank to a lot in the bank and from just her to a staff of five. CBSA would not be celebrating five years of success if Denise hadn’t been hired six years ago. Denise’s commitment to the organization and to its member companies, her awareness of our industry’s needs and her brilliant ability to advocate on behalf of it has made the CBSA the preeminent industry organization in Colorado, as well as an organization that is held up as a model across the country.

About Colorado BioScience Association

CBSA is a not-for-profit corporation providing services and support for Colorado’s growing biosciences industry. With more than 400 members, the CBSA actively works to promote the growth of the industry by advocating for a better business environment, by promoting programs that grow the state’s bioscience workforce, by fighting for policies that support a strong bioscience industry in the state and by speaking with a single voice on behalf of the companies in the state. For more information, visit



Christine Shapard, Interim Executive Director, Colorado BioScience Association, 303-592-4089 or

Maggie Chamberlin Holben, APR, Absolutely Public Relations - - 303-984-9801,
Colorado BioScience Association
Maggie Holben