Georgia Bio Names 2022 Golden Helix Award Winners

Clearside Biomedical’s Rafael Andino and The Georgia Institute of Technology’s Krishnendu Roy to be Honored with Top Award

ATLANTA--()--Georgia Bio, the state’s life science trade association, will celebrate its annual Golden Helix Awards on Thursday, May 5th. Georgia Bio is pleased to announce the winners of the 2022 Golden Helix Awards and be returning to an in-person celebration.

Clearside Biomedical’s Rafael V. Andino and The Georgia Institute of Technology’s Krishnendu Roy are the recipients of the 2022 Industry Growth Awards for their impact on the life sciences industry in the state. The Industry Growth Awards are the highest honors bestowed each year by Georgia Bio.

The Golden Helix Awards celebrate the contributions and achievements of Georgia legislative, academic, corporate, and other organizational 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.

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“We are thrilled to have our annual awards dinner return to being an in-person celebration of the individuals and companies who are making waves in the life sciences industry,” said Maria Thacker Goethe, CEO, Georgia Bio and the Center for Global Health Innovation (CGHI), “Our community strives to improve patients’ lives, support workforce development, grow Georgia’s economy, and be a driving force for good in the world. The Golden Helix Awards highlights those lasting contributions made by many in the life sciences sector in Georgia.”

Now in its 24th year, the Golden Helix Award winners showcase the best in innovation and leadership in Georgia’s community. Georgia Bio presents awards to individuals and companies in eight categories: Industry Growth; Deals of the Year; Community; Innovation; Emerging Leader; Biotech Teacher of the Year; Legislator 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 successful fundraising efforts, which included closing on a Series B financing round totaling $107 million dollars; Axion Biosystems for their sale to Summa Capital; Guide Therapeutics for their sale to Beam Therapeutics; Danimer Scientific for their $700 million dollar expansion of a 2,000,000-square-foot facility in Bainbridge, Georgia; MedShape, Inc. for their sale to DJO; Intuitive Surgical’s commitment to creating 1,200 new jobs that will have an average salary of over $130,000 in Gwinnett County; Kennesaw State University for earning a three-year, $809,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to strengthen the University’s research and diversity infrastructures in the biomedical fields; Sharecare for going public through a merger with Falcon Capital Acquisition Corp.; Strados Labs for raising $4.5M in Pre-series A Funding; and VERO Biotech for receiving $100 million in a Series E financing round led by MVM Partners (MVM).

“The Metro Atlanta Chamber is honored to present the Phoenix Award this year to two titans of economic development in Georgia for their partnership in creating the Delta Innovation Hub at the University of Georgia,” said David Hartnett, Chief Economic Development Officer at the Metro Atlanta Chamber, and member of the Georgia Bio Awards Committee. “Their collaboration will invigorate Georgia’s innovation ecosystem for years to come and symbolizes what the spirit of the Golden Helix Awards and Phoenix Awards is all about.”


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.

  • Rafael V. Andino, Clearside Biomedical, Inc.
  • Krishnendu Roy, Georgia Institute of Technology

Phoenix Award: The Phoenix award represents the iconic "rising from the ashes" of the Phoenix, a symbol of strength, tenacity and leadership and is presented to celebrate the best Industry and Academic collaborations. The two Georgia honorees will 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.

  • Delta Air Lines Foundation
  • UGA Innovation District

Deals of the Year Awards: Presented to one or more companies or institutions for the most significant financial or commercial transactions closed from January 1, 2021-December 31, 2021, based on the importance of the transaction to Georgia’s life sciences industry.


Summa Capital acquisition of Axion Biosystems

Beam Therapeutics acquisition of Guide Therapeutics

DJO acquisition of MedShape, Inc.

Economic Development

Danimer Scientific

Intuitive Surgical

Private Financing

Antios Therapeutics


Strados Labs

VERO Biotech

Public Financing

Kennesaw State University

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.

  • Ian Biggs, University of Georgia Innovation Gateway
  • Angelita Howard, EdD, MBA-PM, MA, Morehouse School of Medicine
  • Wilbur Lam, MD, PhD, Emory University & Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Dorothy Leone-Glasser, RN, HHC, Advocates for Responsible Care
  • Marine Extension & Georgia Sea Grant, University of Georgia
  • Grace Powers, MS, MBA, RAC, Powers Regulatory Consulting
  • Ryan White Program, Augusta University

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.

  • GENOSYL, VERO Biotech

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.

  • Aaron Enten, PhD, MBA, Insight Optics

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.

  • Cynthia Greer, North Hall High School

Legislators of the Year Award: Presented to state legislators for their support of the life sciences industry in Georgia.

  • The Honorable Chuck Hufstetler, Georgia State Senate
  • The Honorable Shaw Blackmon, Georgia House of Representatives

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


Georgia Bio is a division of the Center for Global Health Innovation (CGHI), a 501(c)(3) organization that was launched in January 2020 to bring together diverse Global Health, Health Technology and Life Sciences entities to collaborate, innovate and activate solutions to enhance human health outcomes around the world. Visit CGHI at

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


Ryan Brooks

Release Summary

Georgia Bio announces winners of 2022 Golden Helix Awards. Clearside Biomedical, Inc. and Georgia Tech receive top award, the Industry Growth Award.

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Ryan Brooks