Tuesday, July 3, 2012

LifeScience: 'Aurora Bioscience district gets new boss with big experience'

Quoting from the July 3 Aurora Sentinel article by Brandon Johansson:

"Steve VanNurden is excited for the new expansion wing at the Bioscience Park Center, Thursday afternoon, June 28, at the Fitzsimons Life Science District. VanNurden took over as President and CEO in late May...

...That growth and the momentum he sees being built was what drew VanNurden from Mayo Clinic Ventures in Rochester, Minn. to the FRA.

VanNurden started at Mayo 22 years ago after a career with agriculture-industry giant Cargill.

A few years prior, Mayo had launched Mayo Clinic Ventures, which aimed to take the world-class research happening at Mayo, and turn it into bioscience and biotechnology companies.

Since then, he helped start about 50 individual companies.

That ability to take the ideas that sprout from medical research and turn them into profitable companies has local officials excited about VanNurden’s arrival at the FRA.

Mark Spiecker, CEO of Sharklet Technologies, one of the 39 companies at the FRA’s Bioscience Park Center, said VanNurden is the perfect fit for the organization.

Across the health-care industry, Mayo is seen as a model for technology development and funding, Spiecker said, and Mayo Clinic Ventures is well-known as a place where breakthrough technologies become startup companies.

'Having a guy that used to run that program is a great opportunity for us,' he said.

Holli Riebel, CEO of the Colorado Bioscience Association, said landing VanNurden was a sign that Colorado’s burgeoning bioscience industry is gaining credibility around the country. 'I think it’s a real coup for us to be able to attract Steve,' she said.

His background with starting bioscience companies will be ideal at the FRA, where officials have announced an enhanced focus on building relationships with the rest of the state’s bioscience industry, she said.

'That’s really what we’re trying to do,' she said."

Link to the full article

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