Georgia Bio to Celebrate 30 Years at Annual Awards Dinner

GRA’s Russell Allen and Inventor Richard Hillstead to Receive Top Honors

ATLANTA--()--Georgia Bio, the state’s life science trade association, will celebrate its 30th Anniversary Gala & Annual Golden Helix Awards on Friday, February 8 at the Hyatt at Villa Christina in Atlanta. Georgia Bio is pleased to announce the winners of the 2019 Golden Helix Awards.

The 2019 Golden Helix Awards celebrate the contributions and achievements of Georgia individual and company leaders working to advance the growth of the life sciences industry and foster strategic partnerships that can create a healthier world. The event is expected to draw 300 of the state’s life sciences industry leaders.

Russell Allen, President & CEO of Georgia Research Alliance and former President & CEO of Georgia Bio; and Dr. Richard Hillstead, a long-time entrepreneur, inventor and investor who champions industry workforce development, are the recipients of the 2019 Georgia Bio Industry Growth Awards. The Industry Growth Awards are the highest honors bestowed each year by Georgia Bio.

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“Our life sciences community employs more than 32,000 Georgians,” said Bob McNally, Chair of the Georgia Bio Awards Committee. “It is important to recognize the individuals and organizations supporting healthcare innovations and leadership here in Georgia. As the association representing and advocating for medical devices, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology in Georgia, we look forward to bringing the sector together on February 8th for an evening of networking and celebration.”

Georgia Bio presents awards to individuals and companies in seven categories: Industry Growth; Deals of the Year; Community; Innovation; Emerging Leader; Biotech Teacher of the Year; and the Metro Atlanta Chamber sponsored Phoenix Award. Winners are some of Georgia’s hardest working innovators and entrepreneurs producing advanced medicines, diagnostics and technologies to improve medical care.

Companies being honored with the distinguished Deal of the Year award include: Antios Therapeutics for their $25 Million raise in an oversubscribed series A financing to pursue a Hepatitis B cure; Arbor Pharmaceuticals for its licensing agreement with Tasly Pharmaceuticals to develop and market an investigational modern innovative Chinese medicine compound; BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company) for the acquisition of C. R. Bard, Inc.; Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health USA Inc. for investments in Georgia facilities; Rimidi, Inc. for a $6.575 Million Series A raise with strategic investment from Eli Lilly to grow and accelerate the digital health company’s market penetration; and Wright Medical Group for the acquisition of Cartiva Inc.

“This year’s winners showcase the best in innovation and leadership in our community working to improve patients’ lives,” said Maria Thacker Goethe, Acting President and CEO, Georgia Bio. “The awards program is one night for our members to pause and recognize the individuals and companies who are making lasting contributions to the sector in Georgia.”


Georgia Bio Industry Growth Awards: Presented to two people who have made an extraordinary contribution to the growth of the life sciences industry in Georgia.

  • C. Russell Allen, President & CEO, Georgia Research Alliance
  • Richard A. Hillstead Ph.D., FAHA

Phoenix Award: Presented to two Georgia honorees who have forged academic and industry relationships that will drive translation and lead to new treatments and cures. This award is sponsored by the Metro Atlanta Chamber.

  • Global Center for Medical Innovation / Rambam Healthcare Campus

Deals of the Year Awards: Presented to one or more companies or institutions for the most significant financial or commercial transactions closed from November 1, 2017-October 31, 2018, based on the importance of the transaction to Georgia’s life sciences industry.

Becton, Dickinson & Co. & C. R. Bard, Inc.
Wright Medical Group & Cartiva

Economic Development
Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health USA Inc.

Licensing Agreement
Arbor Pharmaceuticals & Tasly Pharmaceuticals

Private Financing
Antios Therapeutics
Rimidi Diabetes Inc.

Community Awards: Presented to a small number of individuals, companies or institutions whose contributions to Georgia’s life sciences community are worthy of special recognition.

  • Atlanta Science Festival
  • Chaarles G. Fogelgren, MBA, med fusion – a Quest Diagnostics Company
  • Pediatric Technology Center, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta
  • Joseph Hobbs, MD, Augusta University
  • Kornelius Bankston, Color Genomics, Inc.
  • International Biomedical Regulatory Sciences Program, University of Georgia, College of Pharmacy

Innovation Awards: Presented to the department, institution, company or individuals who are forging new ground by thinking outside traditional paradigms to create some unique technology.

  • GloShieldTM, Jackson Medical
  • 3D-Printed Tracheal Splint in Pediatric Patient, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta / Georgia Institute of Technology

Emerging Leader of the Year Awards: Presented to young individuals who have made a significant impact on the life sciences industry through their studies or employment.

  • Benjamin Boward, University of Georgia
  • James R. Lewis, Co-Founder/CEO, Innovation Hub Enterprises

Teacher of the Year Award: Presented to a Georgia biotechnology high school teacher who exhibits excellence in STEM teaching and support for the biotechnology pathway.

  • Tricia Pedersen, Paulding County High School
  • Elizabeth Proctor, Jasper County High School

For a list of past Georgia Bio Industry Growth Award recipients, click here.

Georgia Bio (GaBio) is the state’s life science advocacy and business leadership industry association whose members include pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device companies, medical centers, universities and research institutes, government groups and other business organizations involved in the development of life sciences related products and services. GaBio works closely with industry, government, academia and others to shape public policy, improve access to innovative technologies and grow Georgia’s life sciences economy. Visit GaBio at, and follow us on Twitter @Georgia_Bio, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

Credentialed members of the news media are invited to attend as guests. Please register with Georgia Bio.


Maria Thacker Goethe, 404-920-2042,

Release Summary

2019 Georgia Bio Golden Helix Award Winners announced today. Awards will be presented during Georgia Bio’s 30th Anniversary Gala on Feb. 8.


Maria Thacker Goethe, 404-920-2042,