University of Georgia

UGA partners take home 2 Georgia Bio awards

Georgia’s life sciences community celebrates outstanding accomplishments of individuals, companies and organizations each year at Georgia Bio’s Golden Helix Awards. This year, two University of Georgia affiliates—Georgia CTSA and Dalan Animal Health—will be honored for their impacts in innovation and entrepreneurship.

The Georgia Clinical & Translational Science Alliance (Georgia CTSA), along with Delta Innovation Hub resident Dalan Animal Health, will receive awards from Georgia Bio at its annual Golden Helix Awards dinner Wednesday, March 29, at the Fox Theater in Atlanta.

Georgia Bio is a nonprofit, membership-based organization that works with companies, universities, government groups and research institutions to improve access to innovative technologies and grow Georgia’s life sciences economy.

Dalan Animal Health earned the Innovation Award, which goes to those who are forging new ground by creating unique technology.

Dalan moved to the University of Georgia’s Delta Innovation Hub, the heart of the Innovation District, in the fall of 2022 to team up with researchers in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and the College of Veterinary Medicine to advance the world’s first honeybee vaccine. The vaccine protects honeybee hives against American Foulbrood, a deadly bacterial disease that has forced beekeepers to destroy, burn and bury infected colonies.

Described as a landmark breakthrough with implications for food sources worldwide, the vaccine works by mixing a signature from the bacteria into a cocktail and giving it to the worker bees orally. The worker bees incorporate the vaccine into the “royal jelly” and feed it to the queen, who then passes on increased immunity to any new bees she produces.

Dalan Animal Health, which moved to UGA’s Delta Innovation Hub last fall, is being recognized with the Global Helix Innovation Award for its work on the first-ever honeybee vaccine. Georgia CTSA earned the Deal of the Year Award for attracting $73.7 million in funding to accelerate Georgia’s medical research.

“Dalan is proud to receive the 2023 Global Helix Innovation Award from the Center for Global Health Innovation for the first-ever honeybee vaccine. Dalan’s products will prevent diseases that affect beneficial insect populations and increase the profitability and yield of pollinated crop farms worldwide,” said Annette Kleiser, CEO of Dalan Animal Health. “Athens is the perfect location and the University of Georgia is the ideal partner to build an innovative biotechnology company focused on sustainable agriculture.

“We’re excited to be a part of this community and take advantage of its many benefits to achieve significant and sustained growth.”

Georgia CTSA is taking home the Deal of the Year Award in the public financing category. These awards recognize transactions made by companies or institutions that contribute to the development of the state’s life sciences industry.

Georgia CTSA is a collaborative, multi-institutional research alliance comprising Emory University, Morehouse School of Medicine, Georgia Tech and UGA. The alliance accelerates clinical and translational education, research, workforce development and community engagement.

Georgia CTSA earned the Deal of the Year Award for receiving $73.7 million to accelerate Georgia’s medical research. In 2022 Georgia CTSA was selected for renewal by the National Institutes of Health and received $58.6 million over five years, as well as $15.1 million in support from its member institutions.

“Personally, the award means a lot and recognizes collective efforts to build and grow an alliance that makes a positive impact on the health of Georgians,” said Brad Phillips, professor in the College of Pharmacy, director of the Biomedical and Translational Sciences Institute and UGA principal investigator for Georgia CTSA.

“For Georgia CTSA,” Phillips said, “it recognizes synergistic and unique strengths across our public and private partners to advance new treatments, approaches, education and innovations that will make a difference in health and help achieve our priority to improve health equity in the state. I am excited to work with alliance partners, our communities and students in the coming years to achieve these life-changing health outcomes.”