Dr. Albert D. Friesen named Gold Leaf Award winner by BIOTECanada

April 22, 2013

Manitoban bio-entrepreneur Dr. Albert D. Friesen will be presented with The Industry Leadership Gold Leaf Award by BIOTECanada at this year’s BIO International Convention in Chicago.

BIOTECanada, Canada’s national biotechnology industry association, hosts its annual Gold Leaf Awards in recognition of leaders and innovators in the life science community. The organization honours individuals demonstrating exemplary vision and leadership in Canadian biotechnology with a global presence and reach.

“We are pleased to acknowledge Dr. Friesen as the first-ever Gold Leaf Award winner from Manitoba. Receiving the Industry Leadership Award is an incredible accolade and we would like to recognize this outstanding achievement,” said the Honourable Dave Chomiak, Minister of Innovation, Energy and Mines. “The life science industry now accounts for seven per cent of the Manitoba’s GDP. It’s filled with exceptional individuals and companies, with Dr. Friesen serving as a prime example of the outstanding leadership and talent Manitobans are showcasing on a worldwide platform.”

Dr. Friesen serves as President of Genesys Venture Inc. and CEO of Medicure Inc. He is responsible for raising over $140 million to develop a drug treatment for acute ischemia and ischemic-reperfusion injury. His leadership in the biotech industry has been instrumental in finding and developing several Canadian health industry companies, including ABI Biotechnology, Novopharm Biotech Inc., Genesys Pharma Inc. and KAM Scientific Inc.

“I am honoured to have been nominated by the Life Science Association of Manitoba and recognized by BIOTECanada for this award,” said Dr. Friesen. “It is a privilege to be acknowledged amongst the many deserving leaders in the Canadian life science industry. I am very proud to be a part of this integral sector, its supportive industry association, and a province where there is a true appreciation for innovation.”

 “Leaders such as Dr. Friesen are the true pioneers of our industry,” said Andrew Casey, President and CEO BIOTECanada. “As a founding member of our Association, Dr. Friesen has been a constant advocate in building biotechnology awareness in Canada. His passion for the industry and legacy of mentorship has clearly shaped Manitoba’s biotech industry, but also had ripple effects nationwide. On behalf of the members of BIOTECanada, I thank Dr. Friesen for his leadership and commitment to the industry and congratulate him on being chosen by his industry colleagues for this award.”

Dr. Friesen will be presented with The Industry Leadership Award at the Canada Café (booth 3831) on April 23 at 4 p.m.

About Dr. Albert D. Friesen
As the first full-time employee and President of the Winnipeg Rh Institute, Dr. Friesen oversaw the development of Canada’s first biotech product, WinRho, and is a founder of BIOTECanada. He also found several GMP production facilities for human pharmaceuticals. He helped established CentreStone Venture Partners, a $22 million life science fund based in Winnipeg. He has also managed and initiated the research and clinical development of numerous pharmaceutical candidates, including more than 15 INDs and 2 successful NDAs. He is a founder of the Industrial Biotechnology Association of Canada and was the Chairman of its Board of Directors.

He is the recipient of a number of awards, including Distinguished Alumni of the University of Manitoba and the Order of Manitoba.

About BIOTECanada
BIOTECanada is the national industry association with nearly 250 members located nationwide, reflecting the diverse nature of Canada’s health, industrial and agricultural biotechnology sectors. In addition to providing significant health benefits for Canadians, the biotechnology industry has quickly become an essential part of the transformation of many traditional cornerstones of the Canadian economy including manufacturing, automotive, energy, aerospace and forestry industries.

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