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BioFlorida Advances Florida as a Life Sciences Destination & Spotlights Growth Across the State

Wednesday, October 23, 2019   (0 Comments)
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For Immediate Release:


BioFlorida Advances Florida as a Life Sciences Destination & Spotlights Growth Across the State

The Conference Welcomed New Companies & Research Institutes to Florida


TAMPA, FL (October 23, 2018) – Over 400 executives, scientists, researchers, investors, and service providers from the BioPharma, MedTech, and HealthIT industries convened at the BioFlorida Annual Conference to hear from experts on industry trends, connect with investors and potential partners, and celebrate Florida’s achievements while advancing economic development strategies to expand the industry. 


The life sciences industry in Florida is seeing growth across all sector and all regions including new companies, new research institutes, new incubators, and new collaborations contributing to the 6,200 establishments employing over 280,000 total jobs with an average salary of $83,000,” said Nancy K. Bryan, President and CEO of BioFlorida. “The research and biopharmaceutical industry alone has experienced double digit growth in Florida – with the biopharmaceutical industry doubling the national average. The BioFlorida Conference unites the states leaders to drive future growth and celebrate scientific and business achievements to advance Florida as a life sciences destination.”


The conference addressed trending topics and areas of strength for Florida’s life science industry such as metabolomics, personalized cancer treatment, regenerative medicine, robotics, simulation, medical technology, and Florida’s opioid crisis with a special focus on development strategies on expanding the industry in the state and  exploring reasons why companies are choosing to expand in Florida. Attendees gained insights from industry experts on how to grow their businesses, with dedicated sessions on commercialization, funding, and next generation technologies.


BioFlorida also unveiled a new MedTech Committee with that will work to further the industry sector that provides physicians with the tools to diagnose and treat patients, a commitment that drives over 7,000 companies in the U.S.– leading to an 80% increase in patents for breakthrough medical technologies in the last decade. Florida is home to the nation’s second largest medical device manufacturing industry.


Companies also used the Conference to share major announcements – including BioFlorida’s Company of the Year ADMA Biologics announcing the first commercial sales of ASCENIV™ for the treatment of treatment of patients with Primary Immune Deficiency Disease (PI) and BioFlorida’s Entrepreneur of the Year Cyclo Therapeutics announcing the completion of enrollment in its Phase I Trial to evaluate Trappsol® Cyclo™ for the treatment of Niemann-Pick Disease Type C.


Seed and early stage companies participated in the BioPitch competition, which provided opportunities for coaching, as well as presentations to investors for feedback and potential funding. The four semi-finalists included AireHealth (Orlando), DermaSensor (Miami), ImmunSYS (Fort Lauderdale), and Regenerative Processing Plant, LLC (Palm Harbor) – with ImmunSys, a company focused on developing a new cancer therapy to improve the lives of patients with prostate cancer and other adenocarcinomas, winning the top recognition and $10,000.


The Spotlight on Innovation session featured four companies that have achieved major milestones: Sensus Healthcare, Inc. (Boca Raton), ADMA Biologics, Inc. (Boca Raton), Morphogenesis, Inc. (Tampa), and NeoGenomics Laboratories, Inc. (Ft. Myers).


BioFlorida also recognized individuals and organizations for their outstanding achievements across four distinct categories. This year’s award recipients include:


David J. Gury Company of the Year Award

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


The 2019 David J. Gury Company of the Year Award was presented to Adam Grossman, Co-Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer of ADMA Biologics, Inc., a commercial biopharmaceutical company dedicated to manufacturing, marketing, and developing specialty plasma-derived biologics for the treatment of immunodeficient patients at risk for infection and the prevention of certain infectious diseases.


Based in Boca Raton, ADMA Biologics was founded in 2004 and in the last year alone the company was granted two U.S. Food and Drug Administration biologic product approvals for ASCENIV™ and BIVIGAM®, improved their current good manufacturing practice compliance classification with FDA, and secured funding to support their ongoing commercial product launches and operations. The company just announced the first commercial sales of ASCENIV™ for the treatment of treatment of patients with Primary Immune Deficiency Disease (PI).


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 2018 Entrepreneur of the Year Award was presented to Jeffrey L. Tate, Ph.D., Chief Operating Officer and Chief Quality Officer for Cyclo Therapeutics, formerly CTD Holdings, of Alachua and Gainesville, Florida.


Dr. Tate came to his current position at Cyclo Therapeutics, then CTD Holdings, in 2010. At that time the company was a publicly traded specialty fine chemical manufacturing, sales and distribution company with more than 20 years of history. When the opportunity to develop one of those specialty fine chemicals into a treatment for a rare and fatal genetic disease in children arose, he brought his experience to bear and led a team to develop both a formulation and robust commercial manufacturing process for a treatment for Niemann-Pick Disease Type C (NPC) based on cyclodextrin chemistry. Today, through the efforts of the Cyclo Therapeutics management team and Board of Directors, and the cooperation of NPC patients and their families, many Niemann-Pick patients have been treated with its proprietary Trappsol® Cyclo™ product. Development of follow-on treatment indications for the drug, including Alzheimer’s Disease, is underway.


Since 2014, Cyclo Therapeutics has raised more than $22 million in financing, and announced while at the Conference the completion of enrollment in its Phase I Trial to evaluate Trappsol® Cyclo™ for the treatment of Niemann-Pick Disease Type C.


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. This year, the organization awarded two leadership awards to Jane Teague and Tamara Mandell.


Jane Teague serves as the Executive Director of the Institute for Commercialization of Florida Technology, a statewide agency that supports seed funding and growth of innovative startup companies in Florida. In this role she’s responsible for operational and administrative oversight of the organization including its seed capital fund and other entrepreneurial support programs. She has a lifelong commitment not only to life sciences, but to technology development and job growth in Florida. Teague has served as an invaluable member of BioFlorida, serving on the BioPitch Committee for five years with the last two as BioPitch Chair. Under her leadership and strategic guidance, BioPitch has continued to excel with new records this year in applicants and investors, as well as introducing a $10,000 award for the BioPitch winner.


Tamara Mandell is the Director of Biotility at the University of Florida's CERHB. She has a passion for bridging the gap between industry and education, and leads UF Biotility’s efforts to develop workforce talent for the industry via direct industry training, certificate short courses for individuals transitioning from academic to industry positions, and workforce credentialing via the BACE.  Mandell has served as Co-Chair of the BioFlorida Northeast Chapter for the last four years volunteering her time to organize and execute chapter events in the Gainesville-Alachua area. She has been Instrumental in engaging undergraduate and graduate students and increasing their participation on the BioFlorida Northeast Chapter Leadership Team. Mandell also serves on BioFlorida’s Celebration of Biotechnology Planning Committee and is an active participant in BioFlorida Day at the Capitol and the DC Fly-in.


BioFlorida Lifetime Achievement Award 

The 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 2019 recipient of the BioFlorida Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Mark Long, Director of Incubation Services at the University of Florida, managing the activities of international award-winning UF Innovate | Sid Martin Biotech and The Hub.


Long has been a technology transfer and business incubator professional for over 25-years, and under Long’s leadership, the Sid Martin incubator was named the “Randall M. Whaley Global Incubator of the Year” for 2017. Before joining the team at UF, Mark served as the former President and CEO of the Indiana University Research and Technology Corporation (IURTC). As CEO of IURTC, Mark directed the activities of IU’s business incubator, the Indiana University Emerging Technologies Center; the Technology Transfer Office; the Office of Indiana University Trademarks and Licensing; and Kelley Executive Partners, the executive education arm of the Kelley School. He also served as President and CEO of the Midwest Proton Radiotherapy Institute. Mark was the previous Director of Technical Operations at Washington University in St. Louis.


His ability to catalyze and grow an ecosystem is unparalleled. Long’s expertise is recognized worldwide as he has assisted in building and managing business incubators and research parks with extensive work in Russia, China, Malaysia, the Caribbean, and throughout the US. Long has authored several books on incubation and economic development, served as a global consultant for startups, tech transfer, and business incubators and accelerators, and won the President’s Award for Lifetime Achievement in Business Incubation from the International Business Innovation Association (InBIA).


Florida’s life sciences industry will unite again in Tallahassee at BioFlorida’s Legislative Day on December 10-11. To find details or register for upcoming BioFlorida events please visit,


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About BioFlorida

BioFlorida is the voice of Florida’s life science industry, representing 6,200 establishments and research organizations in the biopharmaceutical, medical technology, and bioagriculture sectors that collectively employ 87,000 Floridians. [Source: The Value of Bioscience Innovation in Growing Jobs and Improving Quality of Life (TEConomy/BIO, 2016)] BioFlorida’s member driven initiatives provide a strong business climate for the advancement of innovative products and technology that improve lives and promote economic benefits to the state.



About BioFlorida

BioFlorida is the voice of Florida's life sciences industry, representing 6,700 establishments and research organizations in the BioPharma, MedTech, HealthIT & BioAg that collectively employ nearly 94,000 Floridians.