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Annual BioFlorida Conference Fuels Statewide Innovation

Tuesday, December 13, 2016   (0 Comments)
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December 13, 2016


Annual BioFlorida Conference Fuels Statewide Innovation

Life Science Leaders Share Best Practices, Network and Collaborate to Further the Future of the Industry


JACKSONVILLE, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Hundreds of entrepreneurs, company executives, investors, scientists, researchers and lawmakers in the life sciences industry united at the 2016 BioFlorida Conference to showcase recent scientific advancements and business achievements, discuss the future of innovation for the industry, and explore public policy issues of interest.


"Florida has built an impressive and diverse life sciences ecosystem that has considerable potential for continued innovation and growth," said Nancy K. Bryan, President and CEO of BioFlorida. "The annual BioFlorida Conference allows us to bring together various specialties across the life sciences industry to grow the industry as a major economic driver in our state. We are honored to have the opportunity to take a moment during the Conference to reflect on the year and recognize the significant contributions to the industry and showcase the leadership and innovation of Florida's life science community."

The Conference addressed distinct areas of strength for Florida's life science industry such as precision medicine, aging and neurodegenerative diseases, oncology, cell therapy and regenerative medicine, pediatrics and women's health. Attendees also gained insights from industry experts on how to grow their business with dedicated sessions on business development, funding and commercialization.

Seed and early stage companies benefited from a dedicated BioPitch competition that provided an opportunity to present their business plans and financing requests to a panel of investors. The 2016 BioPitch winner was AuxThera's compelling Trimauxil technology, a regulated product targeted for companion dog weight loss.

BioFlorida also utilized the high visibility of the event to recognize individuals and organizations for their successes, ingenuity and innovation within the life sciences industry through awarding four distinct recognitions. This year's award recipients include:

David J. Gury Company of the Year Award

The Company of the Year Award is designated for a company or organization that has had significant achievements leading to the advancement of the life sciences in Florida.


The David J. Gury Company of the Year Award was presented to Arthur Levine, CFO of Sensus Healthcare. Based in Boca Raton, Sensus Healthcare is a 6-year-old medical device company that has developed and markets non-invasive and cost effective treatment of non-melanoma skin cancers and other skin conditions, such as keloids. On June 2, the company successfully completed its initial public offering, and thus far is the only company from Florida to do so in 2016, raising capital to support its growth objectives. Sensus Healthcare has seen a year of tremendous growth, with sales up 54% year over year as of the end of the third quarter.

Sensus Healthcare utilizes a proprietary radiation technology known as superficial radiation therapy to offer patients a viable non-invasive alternative to highly-complicated, and very often, painful surgical procedures. To date, Sensus Healthcare technology has been used to effectively and safely treat oncological and non-oncological skin conditions in thousands of patients.

Weaver H. Gaines Entrepreneur of the Year Award

The Entrepreneur of the Year Award recognizes an entrepreneur who has made extraordinary contributions to the growth of life sciences in the leadership of a company or institution.


The 2016 Entrepreneur of the Year Award was presented to Quang Pham, Founder and CEO of Espero Pharmaceuticals, a privately held, cardiovascular pharmaceutical company focused on compounds with proven safety and efficacy administered via novel delivery solutions in the cardiovascular and other specialty therapeutic categories.

Pham saw the potential of Northeast Florida as a growing pharma hub and moved to Jacksonville from California. Espero is a commercial stage pharmaceutical company in Northeast Florida. Its nitroglycerin products are designed to provide acute relief of an attack or prophylaxis of angina pectoris due to coronary artery disease.

In June 2016, Espero Pharmaceuticals received FDA approval for GoNitro™, a short-acting nitrate in a stabilized crystal granule form now commercially available in single dose packets, providing better stability and potency in acute relief of an angina pectoris attack. It is the first product approved to treat acute angina in the U.S. in 20 years.

BioFlorida Leadership Award

The BioFlorida Leadership Award is designated for a BioFlorida volunteer who has taken on a leadership role, dedicated significant time to the mission and has served as a true ambassador for the organization.


The 2016 BioFlorida Leadership Award was presented this week at the BioFlorida to Ian Leventhal, Managing Partner at AP Professionals Global, an executive recruiting company based in Sarasota.

Leventhal has served as Conference Sponsorship Chair for the BioFlorida Conference for the last two years ensuring the highest level of quality and value for all attendees. Under Ian's leadership, sponsorships have not only exceeded budgets but have reached new levels. He has traveled the state participating in almost every chapter event with incredibly successful results. Due to his efforts, Leventhal has brought in new sponsors, new categories of sponsorships and has converted sponsors to long-term valuable members of the organization.

BioFlorida Lifetime Achievement Award

The 2016 BioFlorida Lifetime Achievement Award is reserved for recognizing an individuals' outstanding leadership in the industry throughout their career that has significantly contributed to the growth of the industry.


The 2016 recipient of the BioFlorida Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to David Day, Assistant Vice President & Director of the  Office of Technology Licensing at the University of Florida (UF). Under Day's leadership, UF consistently ranks among the top universities for start-up launches and licensing. In the past 15 years, the Office of Technology and Licensing at UF has launched 193 biomedical and technology start-ups generating more than $1 billion in private investment. In fiscal year 2015-16, the Office of Technology and Licensing at UF received 311 invention disclosures on $724 million in UF research, signed 122 licenses and options and launched 17 companies.

Day has also served on the executive committee and Board of BioFlorida for more than a decade and has served as the organizations Chairman.

Florida's life sciences industry will unite again in Tallahassee at #BioSession, BioFlorida's Legislative Day, February 7 to 8 in Tallahassee. The 2017 BioFlorida Conference will be held October 15 to 17 at The Vinoy® Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort & Golf Club. To find details or register for upcoming BioFlorida events please visit,

About BioFlorida

BioFlorida is the voice of Florida's life sciences industry, representing nearly 6,000 establishments and research organizations in the biopharmaceutical, medical technology and bioagriculture sectors that collectively employ nearly 83,000 Floridians. BioFlorida's member driven initiatives provide a strong business climate for the advancement of innovative products that improve lives and promote economic benefits to the state.


The annual Conference is BioFlorida's largest and most comprehensive event of the year featuring an informative program showcasing science, business and public policy issues. Mark your calendars for the 2017 Conference to be held October 15 to 17 at The Vinoy® Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort & Golf Club.


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Courtney Cox, 850-559-0708

PR Counsel

About BioFlorida

BioFlorida represents 6,200 establishments and research organizations in the biopharmaceuticals, medical technology, healthIT and bioagriculture sectors that collectively employ 87,000 Floridians.


Members of the BioFlorida network include emerging and established life science companies, universities, research institutions, hospitals, medical centers, incubators, economic development agencies, investors and service providers.


NEW regional sponsorship opportunities available.