SALT LAKE CITY, Nov. 9, 2021 -- BioUtah today announced its 2021 BioUtah Life Sciences award winners. Five awards will be presented during a special awards session at the virtual 2021 Renalytix BioHive Summit held on Nov. 12. BioUtah's awards recognize innovators, entrepreneurs and leaders who have made significant contributions to the state's life sciences industry.
To register for the summit and learn more about the awards session and agenda visit biohivesummit.com
"We congratulate this year's award winners," said Kelvyn Cullimore, president and CEO of BioUtah. "Each individual and company receiving an award has made their mark on our industry, pushing the boundaries of innovation to advance life sciences and bringing hope and life-changing technologies to patients the world over."
"Those being honored represent the exceptional BioHive community we have here in Utah," said Katelin Roberts, executive director of BioHive. "We're proud to celebrate their notable achievements."
Awards will be presented on Nov. 12, during a virtual ceremony in which pre-recorded videos of the winners will be unveiled.
The awards and award winners are as follows:
Lifetime Achievement: Dr. Rex S. Spendlove, for his life-long dedication and significant contributions to Utah's life sciences industry as a distinguished scientist, inventor, entrepreneur and passionate advocate for ground-breaking medical research and innovation.
Throughout his career, Dr. Spendlove has launched and grown successful enterprises, including Hyclone Laboratories and Quansys Biosciences. Dr. Spendlove's leadership has led to the creation of a robust life sciences hub in the Cache Valley, driving new healthcare technologies and employing thousands of Utahns. Hyclone, started in 1967 when Dr. Spendlove was a professor at Utah State University and pioneered many of the serum collection, filtration and processing techniques used by cell culture product manufacturers. Hyclone was acquired by Thermo Fisher, then GE Healthcare and most recently has been acquired by Cytiva. Thermo Fisher and Cytiva both have a significant presence in the Logan area.
Dr. Spendlove is a Utah life sciences visionary who continues to be active in the industry at the age of 95, setting a high bar of accomplishment and enrichment for future generations to come.
Executive of the Year: Sunny Sanyal, CEO and director of Salt Lake City-based Varex Imaging Corporation, for his outstanding leadership as part of Utah's life sciences community and for successfully advancing his company's vision and mission to deliver high quality and innovative imaging products and services to improve healthcare and help save lives. Salt Lake City has been home for Varex for more than 75 years, employing over 1,000 Utahns.
With a 28+ years' track record for driving growth in global healthcare technology and services, and medical device businesses, Sanyal has led Varex since 2017. Over the last several years, he has successfully guided the company through challenging global trade dynamics and COVID-19 to continue to grow globally. Varex is an innovator and a global market leader in the field of X-ray based imaging components. Its products and technologies are used in medical imaging applications such as CTs, general x-ray systems, mammography, dental systems, surgical C-arms, interventional systems and more.
Entrepreneur of the Year: Greg Critchfield, MD, with a 30 + year career as an executive in molecular diagnostics, for his work in building companies that are transforming women's health and patient care, beginning with Salt Lake City-based Myriad Genetics in 1998, followed by Sera Prognostics in 2010.
Dr. Critchfield, who currently serves as chairman, president, and CEO of Sera Prognostics, has taken the company from seed-stage to public offering over the last 11 years. Sera Prognostics is a leading diagnostics company with a pipeline of innovative tests focused on the early prediction of preterm birth risk and other complications of pregnancy. Led by Dr. Critchfield, Sera has built an advanced proteomics and bioinformatics platform for creating clinically meaningful and economically impactful predictions for pregnancy.
Sera Prognostics' vision as The Pregnancy Company® is to improve the lives of women and babies through individualized prenatal healthcare –this includes all women, races, ethnicities and geographies.
Innovation Impact Award: Co-Diagnostics, headquartered in Salt Lake City, for the company's high-quality, cost-efficient COVID-19 test, which is deployed in the U.S. and throughout the world.
Co-Diagnostics CEO Dwight Egan will accept the award on behalf of Co-Diagnostics. The test, a real-time PCR test using the company's patented CoPrimer™ technology, was one of the first COVID-19 PCR tests in the nation to receive emergency use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the first from a U.S.-based company to receive a CE marking, playing an important role in expanding testing early in the pandemic.
The company's molecular diagnostics technology is paving the way for innovation in disease detection and life sciences research through its enhanced detection of genetic material.
Friend of Industry: Keith Marmer, chief innovation and economic engagement officer for the University of Utah will accept the award on behalf of the U's Partners for Innovation, Ventures, Outreach & Technology (PIVOT) Center, for its long-standing partnership with BioUtah and Utah's life sciences industry, and its commitment to fostering innovation and economic development.
PIVOT has provided the gateway and guidance for hundreds of life sciences technologies along their paths from university research to commercialization. In just the past five years, U startup companies have raised more than $1.75 billion in investments. PIVOT has also co-founded the region's largest life sciences wet-lab incubator and founded three life sciences-related accelerators.
About BioUtah and BioHive
BioUtah is an independent 501(c)(6) trade association serving Utah's life sciences industry. Its member companies reflect a broad spectrum of the industry with strengths in medical device manufacturing and services, research and testing, biotechnology, biopharmaceuticals, advanced diagnostics, and healthIT, amongst others; and are a key driver of Utah's economy and life-saving treatments and cures for patients. BioHive is a chartered organization of BioUtah. Its mission is to brand, build and bring together Utah's life sciences and healthcare innovation community.