Celebrating Colorado’s Life Sciences Ecosystem

The annual CBSA awards celebration highlights the spirit and drive of Colorado’s vibrant life sciences ecosystem. It brings together hundreds of leaders and innovators to applaud our successes and look ahead to the coming year.

Keynote speaker, Nick Santonastasso

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21st Annual Awards Celebration Presented by AGC Biologics – November 13, 2024

Colorado BioScience Association Celebrates State Forging the Life Sciences Frontier at 20th Annual Awards Celebration Presented by AGC Biologics

Representatives from CBSA’s 2023 Partners of the Year, Biotechnology Innovation Organization and PhRMA, receive their awards from Kathleen (Kiki) Traylor, M.D., Director, State Government Affairs at Amgen and 2023 CBSA Board of Directors Chair, and Elyse Blazevich, CBSA President and CEO.

2023 Award Winners

Colorado BioScience Association celebrated the Colorado companies, organizations, and individuals who are forging Colorado’s life sciences frontier with their work to save and change lives at the 20th Annual Awards Celebration Presented by AGC in November at the Denver Center for Performing Arts’ Seawell Ballroom. Life sciences leaders gathered to celebrate ecosystem successes under sparkling lights, a setting that matched the ecosystem’s excitement.

Company of the Year: PharmaJet

PharmaJet is a commercial stage MedTech company bringing their needle-free injection systems to the world. Their technology gives more people, especially in developing countries, greater access to life-improving medicines. It also overcomes the challenges of traditional vaccine and pharmaceutical delivery.  

PharmaJet’s fast fluid injection systems have been used for millions of immunizations against devastating diseases, including polio and COVID-19. 

The company has developed 89 pharmaceutical partnerships across 107 development programs in 30 different countries.  

Finalists for the award were: Enliven Therapeutics and Trisalus Life Sciences.

Rising Star of the Year, Sponsored by Willis Towers Watson: Foresight Diagnostics

Foresight Diagnostics is a privately held cancer diagnostics company and CLIA-registered laboratory. The company has developed a cutting-edge novel liquid biopsy testing platform for the measurement of minimal residual disease. Their diagnostic can detect cancer recurrence well before imaging and is significantly more sensitive than existing tests. 

Finalists for the award were: Lazzaro Medical and Arpeggio Biosciences.

Educator of the Year, Sponsored by Fisher Scientific: Lindsay Schultz, Academy High School, Mapleton Public Schools

Lindsay participated in Colorado BioScience Institute’s Classroom Program, Research Experience for Teachers. She immersed herself in the hands-on externing opportunities the program offers, spending 128 hours externing with TriSalus Life Sciences—one of tonight’s Company of the Year nominees. Her focus was on engineering-based work. 

She brought everything she learned back to her classroom, demonstrating how the knowledge her students are gaining translates into the real world. Her hands-on experiences increased student interest and engagement in STEM topics and careers. Through the Research Experience for Teachers program, she also built important relationships with leaders in our community to help bring critical workplace skills into her classroom. 

Institute Leadership Award: Amy Claeson, ZimVie Spine

Amy’s volunteer efforts touch all three of The Institute’s investment areas, classroom, campus, and career. 

She advocated for her company, ZimVie, to host a teacher through the Research Experience for Teachers program, which positively impacted the STEM education of that teacher’s students.   

Partners of the Year: Biotechnology Innovation Organization and PhRMA

CBSA’s 2023 Business Partners of the Year collaborated every step of the way to oppose the creation and implementation of drug price caps that will harm patients. They created more surround sound with letters and public comments to the PDAB and policymakers expressing deep concerns about the board’s inconsistent process and its unacceptable disregard of patient voices.

Legislators of the Year: Senator Dafna Michaelson Jenet​ and Representative Matt Soper

CBSA’s legislators of the year have a deep understanding and appreciation for the global and human impact of the ecosystem’s discoveries and development efforts. Throughout the year they consistently advocated for the sector and work for legislation that fosters health innovation. 

Volunteer of the Year: Rita Sanzgiri, J.D., Ph.D.​

Rita dedicated countless hours to shaping the five-year Equity Blueprint, which guides CBSA’s DEI priorities. She offered thoughtful leadership and strategic counsel to the CBSA team, the board-level DEI committee, and a group of volunteer Equity Architects. These teams collaborated to pave the way for our community to embed DEI mindset and practices into the drive to become a top five hub for life sciences in the U.S.   

Building Momentum Award, Sponsored by Fitzsimons Innovation Community (in partnership with Aimco): Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation

Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation​ plays a vital role in attracting life sciences companies and entrepreneurs to Colorado.  In late 2022, Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation led a Life Sciences and Cleantech Roadshow trip to Scotland that included several CBSA Board Members. The trip deepened partnerships and inspired great ideas, even new legislation. More on that in a bit. 

In 2023, they added bioscience-specific recruitment trips to their domestic business development program and have significantly grown the percentage of life sciences companies in their pipeline considering Colorado for relocation.

Join us for our 21st Annual Awards Celebration Presented by AGC Biologics November 13, 2024!