Dallas & Forth Worth (January 11, 2017) – bionorthTX President and CEO Harold Strong today announced that the annual Helix Award will be renamed the Dr. Dennis K. Stone Life Science Achievement Award in honor of Dr. Stone’s decades of service to the North Texas healthcare and life sciences community.
The award recognizes individuals for their achievements as innovators, leaders, mentors and educators in the healthcare and life sciences industry. Dr. Stone, former chief scientific officer of Remeditex Ventures and a longtime promoter of life sciences in the North Texas region, was the 2016 recipient of the Helix Award at bionorthTX ‘s annual iC3 summit on October 26th.
The award was presented to Dr. Stone’s family members, including his wife, Dr. Helen Hobbs, M.D., a professor at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, and their son, Dr. Langdon Stone. M.D, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. The presentation of the award was made by Dr. Kern Wildenthal, president emeritus of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, and president of the Children’s Medical Center Foundation in Dallas. “This award could not have been given to a more appropriate person. Dennis’ contributions to medicine, science and the community will result in a legacy his family can be very proud of,” said Dr. Wildenthal.
There has been an outpouring of accolades from area life sciences leaders for Dr. Stone and his contributions to the community:
“I can’t think of anyone who has done more to promote biomedical research, to promote the formation of companies, or to promote the North Texas biotech community than Dennis Stone. It is wonderful that bionorthTX picked Dennis as the 2016 recipient of this award, and I can’t imagine anyone being able to match his contribution. It is most appropriate for this award to be renamed in his honor,” said Warren Huff, CEO of Reata Pharmaceutical.
“A man as passionate as him (Dr. Stone) is rare, and his motivation to help/guide are from within, part of his DNA, and ever so deserving of an award as the helix award,” said Andrew Dennis, Ph.D., Managing Director of Office of technology Commercialization, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center,
“All of us here in the Office of Technology Development at the UT Southwestern Medical Center owe Dr. Stone a debt of gratitude for his years of service…Perhaps most importantly the patient population in North Texas, the U.S. and the world benefitted from the commercialization, mass production, and wide distribution of the medicines, treatments and technologies at UT Southwestern enabled under his watch,” concluded Frank Grassler, VP of Technology Development at UT Southwestern.
Novartis, the Swiss pharmaceutical giant that owns Alcon, is buying Encore Vision, a Fort Worth startup that has developed a drug to treat presbyopia.
Novartis said Tuesday that the acquisition would add a “first-in-class” treatment to its ophthalmology pipeline, “providing a potentially disruptive innovation to patients in a new therapeutic area of high unmet need and high prevalence.” Terms were not disclosed.
Presbyopia is a hardening of the eye lens experienced by about 80 percent of people over the age of 45, which results in loss of near-distance vision and the need for reading glasses. Encore’s EV06 eye drop, which softens the lens, has shown positive results in phase I/II clinical trials.
Life-sciences expansion means more local high-paying jobs for area
DALLAS & FORT WORTH, Texas–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The 2nd Annual iC3 Life Sciences Summit, hosted by bionorthTX, attracted 400 business, academic and government leaders who emphasized the significance of life sciences economic development for the region and highlighted its leadership in health care innovation.
bionorthTX iC3 Summit Draws 400 at UTA
“The success of this Summit reflects the tremendous progress being made by our companies and universities, with support from community leaders, in improving people’s health and well-being here and across the globe,” said new bionorthTX President and CEO Harold Strong. “Summit attendance was up 50% from our first year, demonstrating a strong local commitment from these professionals to work together in promoting the growth of our region’s life sciences ecosystem. I want to thank all of our speakers, attendees, sponsors and volunteers for making the Summit a huge success.”
The 2016 iC3 Life Sciences Summit featured 32 expert speakers commenting on the themes of Innovation, Collaboration, Capital Formation and Commercialization. The day-long event also included an exhibit hall with 25 companies and industry supporters and poster presentations from academic researchers promoting their science and start-up companies seeking funding.
Among the highlights was a panel discussion with Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price and Arlington Mayor Jeff Williams discussing the positive impact of the life sciences industry not only in creating high wage jobs, but in fostering improvements in secondary education to ensure the region’s students can compete for these high-tech positions.
The Summit, held Oct. 26 at the University of Texas Arlington College Park Center, also included panel discussions on scientific progress in cancer research, advances in delivery of health care to patients, and state legislative efforts to support life sciences innovation. Click here for details on the Summit agenda and full line-up of speakers.
This year’s Helix Award, which recognizes contributions to the growth of the region’s life sciences industry, went to Dr. Dennis Stone, Chief Scientific Officer of Remeditex and longtime promoter of life sciences in the North Texas region. The award was presented to Dr. Stone’s family members including Dr. Helen Hobbs and their son Dr. Lang Stone. The presentation of the award was made by Dr. Kern Wildenthal, president emeritus of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, and president of the Children’s Medical Center Foundation in Dallas.
“This award could not have been given to a more appropriate person. Dennis’ contributions to medicine, science and the community will result in a legacy his family can be very proud of,” said Dr. Wildenthal.
“The Summit is the one place each year our industry, academic and government professionals can come together to network and discuss issues directly related to the success of their endeavors and economic health of our region,” said Strong. “We look forward to building on the momentum of this year’s conference, and a full calendar of more targeted events, to make next year’s Summit an even bigger success.”
North Texas is home to 1,000 life science and medical technology related companies, six major universities and more than 26,000 industry professionals. For information on membership in bionorthTX and upcoming events visit www.bionorthtx.org.
bionorthTX is an independent, non-profit 501(c)(6), member-driven trade association serving and representing the life science industry in North Texas. Member companies range from North Texas’ largest employers to emerging start-ups, universities, research institutions, hospitals, investors, students, individuals and vendors who provide products and services to the life science industry.
bionorthTX was created to accelerate the growth of the diverse and balanced life science ecosystem in North Texas, which spans the value chain of healthcare, life sciences, research, the vendor community, and talent and capital resources. bionorthTX bridges these stakeholder relationships to catalyze partnering and propel commercialization forward at a faster rate than what these entities could do on their own in such a large region.
With Fort Worth being a “cool” place to be now, Mayor Betsy Price said, the next step is developing the city to attract and retain life science companies and scientists.
One way of doing is creating an environment where people want to live.
“You’ve got to make the city a place where families can afford to live, a place where their children can go to school, and a place where they enjoy being,” Price said.
This was among the topics Price, along with Arlington Mayor Jeff Williams, spoke about concerning the North Texas life science ecosystem at the second iC3 Life Science Summit, held by BionorthTX on Wednesday at UT Arlington College Park Center.
The summit provided a venue for life science companies, executives, investors, academia and industry support organizations the opportunity to network, collaborate, educate and partner.
The mayors took the stage for the afternoon keynote address Q&A panel “Building a scalable and sustainable life science ecosystem in North Texas” to speak about present and future plans to grow the life science industry in their respective cities.
“About 15 percent of what we do is in the life science arena and that is a big portion of your economy,” Price said. “That is not unintentional.”
Although the focus has created about 38,000 jobs in Fort Worth’s hospital district, Price said, one of the biggest factors affecting growth is education, both mayors agreed.
For the life sciences to succeed public education needs to be looked at, Price said.
“The nation as a whole has slipped on education,” Price said.
Fort Worth was unable to attract two businesses that would have created about 100 jobs each. When she sat down and asked why they went Austin, they responded, bluntly, with “the education pipeline.”
It was not the workforce nor the opportunities for higher education; it was public education, specifically early childhood, Price said.
Only 30 percent of third-graders in Fort Worth read at grade level, according student and demographic data. It also showed that 50 percent of 4-year-olds who attend preschool in Fort Worth are not kindergarten-ready.
If Fort Worth doesn’t focus on public, private and higher education, great companies won’t come, Price said.
The city and the school district have started an initiative to address the literacy issues and the goal is to have all third-graders reading at level by 2025.
“We are on the front of this curve, not on the heels of it, which is where we need to be,” Price said.
Other topics brought up during the panel affecting growth were housing options, a lack of mass transit in Arlington, fostering a pro-business climate, entertainment options, a lack of lab space and equipment, and people leaving Fort Worth and going to other “cooler” cities such as Dallas or Austin.
The difference between other regions and North Texas, specifically Tarrant County, is the leaders are together working with universities, the business community and the chambers of commerce, Williams said.
“We realize the importance of us leveraging each others resources so that we can use each one of the tools that we have,” Williams said.
It is one of the reasons this region is the fastest growing in the nation, Price.
When asked if there is a city with a scalable and sustainable life science ecosystem that Fort Worth and Arlington could use as a model, Price didn’t hesitate by saying Fort Worth.
New leadership looks to continue fast-growth and expansion
October 14, 2016 07:00 AM Central Daylight Time
DALLAS & FORT WORTH, Texas–(BUSINESS WIRE)–bionorthTX has named Harold Strong, a nationally recognized leader in forging university-industry partnerships, as president and CEO of the non-profit organization and its mission to promote life sciences economic development.
bionorthTX New leadership looks to continue fast-growth and expansion
Mr. Strong joins bionorthTX at a time of escalating interest in the region’s life sciences innovation and industry development. Founded just two years ago, bionorthTX has more than 80 members, including multinational corporations, start-up companies, and major research universities.
“Our region is a global leader in life sciences industry development and university research,” Mr. Strong said, “and I am excited about the opportunity to contribute to its growth.”
The addition of Mr. Strong and the expansion of the bionorthTX’s board of directors reflects the organization’s own development from 2014 start-up to powerhouse regional trade association.
Mr. Strong brings to bionorthTX vast experience in developing partnerships between universities and industry, defining and executing economic development plans, and developing and managing business incubators. He served as director of the University of North Texas Discovery Park and the school’s technology transfer department; and he was executive director of the Texas A&M University Research Park. He also is a board member and past president of the Association of University Research Parks.
Joining the bionorthTX expanded board are François Fournier, president of North America Advanced Wound Care at Smith & Nephew; Dr. Duane Dimos, vice president for research at The University of Texas at Arlington; and Maxwell Lea, managing director at Fort Worth-based DFB Pharmaceuticals.
North Texas is home to 1,000 life science and medical technology related companies, six major universities and more than 26,000 industry professionals. For an overview of the region’s life sciences assets, see the bionorthTX information video.
“Mr. Strong has the leadership and industry experience to help us take bionorthTX to the next level,” said Kay Tieman, the organization’s cofounder and former chief operating officer. “I look forward to working with him to expand membership and marketing of bionorthTX and the region’s life sciences industry. The incredible growth of bionorthTX shows how important the life-sciences are to the economic health of our communities, and I am very proud I could play a pioneering role in this organization.”
Ms. Tieman, who has been named vice president of sales and marketing of AmeriPac, Inc., a Dallas-Fort Worth-based FDA regulated contract packaging, relabeling, and distribution company, will remain on the bionorthTX board of directors and executive committee.
NUVOTHERA CEO Art Clapp, a bionorthTX board member, said, “With her vision, pioneering spirit and single mindedness, Kay Tieman has been instrumental in helping to achieve the success that bionorthTX is enjoying today. As a life science entrepreneur and recent executive at a global pharma company, I am enthusiastic about the tremendous potential that bionorthTX is bringing to the North Texas area, fostering innovation and job creation by stimulating the collaboration between industry, academics and the investment community.”
Another milestone in bionorthTX’s development is its second annual iC3 Life Science Summit Oct. 26 at the University of Texas at Arlington’s College Park Center. The day long summit will feature 32 expert speakers from industry, academia and government focused on the themes of Innovation, Collaboration, Capital Formation and Commercialization. More than 400 executives, scientists and local elected officials are expected to attend.
“I encourage all our life sciences professionals to join us for this event, network with your peers and engage with us in our mission to support the region’s business and research efforts,” said Mr. Strong.
bionorthTX Hosts 2nd Annual Life Science Summit Expected to Attract 400 Life Science and Healthcare Leaders
SOUTHLAKE, Texas–(BUSINESS WIRE)– bionorthTX, the region’s leading life sciences industry association, will hold its 2nd annual iC3 Life Science Summit on Wednesday, Oct. 26, at College Park Center at the University of Texas at Arlington. bionorthTX co-founder and COO Kay Tieman said, “The Summit provides senior executives, scientists, educators and community leaders with a forum to network, exchange ideas, learn, and promote business opportunities in our region.”
More than 400 industry, government, and university leaders are expected to attend the day-long event with presentations focused on the themes of Innovation, Collaboration, Capital Formation and Commercialization.
Dr. Duane Dimos, vice president for research at the University of Texas at Arlington, states, “UTA is thrilled to be partnering with bionorthTX on the iC3 Life Science Summit, as co-hosting this meeting will also provide the opportunity for the life science community in North Texas to see the tremendous breadth of research we do in this field. As a Research 1 university, and with the upcoming groundbreaking for our new research building, UTA is becoming a major force in life and health science research.”
The Summit will begin with opening remarks from Vistasp Karbhari, President of University of Texas at Arlington, and the breakfast plenary session featuring a discussion of the state of the Texas life sciences industry and issues such as drug pricing pressure in the heat of the Presidential election with Brett Girior, MD, CEO of Health Science and Biosecurity Partners, managing director of the Kirchner Group and special advisor to the president of UNT Health Science Center, and Tom Kowalski, president and CEO of the Texas Healthcare and Life Science Institute.
New to the Summit will be an afternoon plenary session with Arlington Mayor Jeff Williams, Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price, and other invited government officials discussing the state and local efforts to develop a sustainable life sciences and healthcare ecosystem in North Texas.
The luncheon address will be delivered by John McWhorter, COO of the Baylor Scott and White Health System, followed by the presentation of the Annual Helix Award. The award will be presented by Kern Wildenthal, MD, Ph.D., president emeritus of UT Southwestern Medical Center and president of the Children’s Medical Center Foundation.
Other confirmed speakers include:
- Al Gillum, president of ZS Pharma
- Deborah Hutchinson, president of Wound Management Technologies
- Doug White, vice president Institutional Advancement at UNT Health Science Center Fort Worth
- Frank Grassler, vice president for Technology Development at UT Southwestern Medical Center
- John Houston, CEO of Dualams
- John Liete, vice president of Oncology for Illumina
- Jon Weidanz, associate vice president of research at UTA
- Julie Goonewardene, associate vice Chancellor for Innovation and Strategic Investment & Managing director for the UT System Horizon Fund
- Andrew Offer, managing director and CFO, Scientific Health Development
- Kathleen Gibson, CEO of the Southwestern Medical Foundation
- Maxwell Lea, vice president corporate development & finance of DFB Pharmaceuticals
- Scott Boyle, senior director of business development of Caris Life Sciences
- Sunil Joshi, CEO of Gradalis
- Theodora Ross, MD, Ph.D., Director of the UT Southwestern Medical Center’s Cancer Genetics Department.
The Summit also will feature exhibits from industry supporters and suppliers, poster presentations by life science companies raising funds, and the bionorthTX Talent Committee Career Connections exhibit. The event will conclude with a networking reception.
Early-bird registration for members and non-members ends September 26. For more information on sponsorship opportunities visit https://bionorthtx.org or contact Kay Tieman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
1,000 companies, 26,000 employees, 6 major universities
DALLAS-FORT WORTH (May 31, 2016) – bionorthTX will use the upcoming Biotechnology Innovation Organization’s (BIO) 2016 International Convention in San Francisco June 6 – 9 to spotlight the region’s burgeoning life sciences industry and world-class universities.
Founded in 2014 to promote North Texas’s life sciences and healthcare innovation and industry development, bionorthTX will showcase the region’s companies and research institutions to more than 15,000 biotech and pharma leaders from 69 countries.
“To outsiders our region may be known more for the financial market, software, oil & gas and the stockyards than life science and healthcare innovation,” said bionorthTX co-founder and COO Kay Tieman. “Participating in the BIO annual convention will give us an opportunity to show the world’s biotech and pharma professionals we are a leading center of health care and life sciences industry development, which should also drive public and private capital to our members.”
North Texas is home to 1,000 life sciences related companies with more than 26,000 employees focused on therapeutics, diagnostics, devices, clinical research, contract manufacturing and health care IT. The region includes a range of companies from multinational corporations such as Abbot Laboratories, Alcon, Celanese Chemicals, Covance Clinical Research, Essilor, Galderma Laboratories, McKesson Corp., and Smith & Nephew, to emerging companies like Neos Therapeutics, Reata Pharmaceuticals, ZS Pharma and Thermi, to startups. In addition, a critical element of the foundation for life sciences industry development is a strong network of collaborative universities. North Texas’s academic institutions, global leaders in life sciences research, include University of Texas (UT) Southwestern Medical Center, UT’s Arlington and Dallas campuses, along with Baylor Scott & White Health and Research Institute and the University of North Texas Health Science Center in Fort Worth.
“Among our major initiatives,” Tieman said, “is our 2 nd annual iC3 Life Science Summit, which last year, brought 275 stakeholders together to discuss Innovation, Collaboration, Capital formation and Commercialization (iC3) in North Texas. It will be held on October 26 th at UT Arlington and we anticipate 350-400 in attendance”.
Examples of the region’s growing health care industry include the recent expansion of Galderma’s $22 million research and development center, expected to add up to 350 employees, and McKesson’s opening of a new distribution center with 950 employees.
Thermi, a company developing thermistor-regulated energy solutions for aesthetics, dermatology and women's health, also is expanding following its acquisition by Barcelona-based Almirall for $88 million; and Neos Therapeutics, an emerging company developing treatments for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, held a successful initial public offering in 2015.
“We have an exciting story to tell about North Texas’s vibrant health care and life sciences industries,” Tieman said. “This is a primary objective for bionorthTX and attending BIO 2016 is just a first step.”
Swiss-based dermatology company Galderma Laboratories LP hosted a topping out ceremony May 10 for its new $22 million research and development center in Fort Worth.
Construction is clipping along on the skin care company’s 100,000-square-foot expansion to its North American headquarters, located on the west side of Interstate 35W, just north of Alliance Airport in far north Fort Worth.
When Coppell’s ZS Pharma went public last year with a $100 million stock offering, it was hailed as a milestone moment, the first IPO for a Texas biotech startup in more than a decade. In a year’s time, the stock price doubled, boosting the company’s value well above $1 billion. Investors are betting that the FDA will approve the company’s debut drug, ZS-9, designed to battle hyperkalemia and control dangerously high potassium levels. If all goes as planned, the drug will be on the market sometime next year.
The first BioNorthTX iC3 Life Science Summit will be Wednesday, Sept. 30, at the Dallas Marriott Las Colinas in Irving. The Life Science Summit—an annual all-day event—is an industry-wide networking, education and business development conference for investors, researchers and life science companies. The Summit aims to showcase innovation, collaboration and commercialization efforts in North Texas.