CONNECT, San Diego’s original technology incubator, announced Thursday it has chosen Althea Technologies co-founders Magda Marquet and François Ferré for its prestigious Entrepreneur Hall of Fame award in 2016.
Marquet is the first female recipient of the award, which honors extensive contributions to San Diego’s research, healthcare and entrepreneur communities. She and her husband Ferré have made key contributions to both science and the local biotech industry.
Their company Althea, founded in 1998 and now a member of the Ajinomoto Group, provides contract development and manufacturing services to biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies.
“Without the contributions of Magda and François, the local biotech community would not be what it is today,” said Greg McKee, CEO of CONNECT. “It is hard to find more deserving innovators for this award.”
Marquet is also a co-founder of AltheaDX, a precision medicine company, and during her tenure at Vical patented several novel methods for the production of clinical grade DNA for use in gene therapy and DNA vaccines.
Ferré is a leader in gene quantification and biomarker development and has published several authoritative reviews on these topics, including the co-edition of a bestseller book on polymerase chain reaction technology with Nobel Prize winner Kary Mullis.
Maquet and François Ferré, who will celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary in 2016, are also the founders of ALMA Life Sciences, an early stage investment firm focusing on the creation and growth of innovative health care companies in San Diego. ALMA’s portfolio includes over 20 life sciences companies.
The husband-and wife-team are the 14th and 15th inductees into the hall of fame. Past inductees include Andrew Viterbi, Irwin Jacobs, Walter Zable, Ivor Royston, William Rastetter, J. Robert Beyster, Neal Blue, Linden Blue, Peter Preuss, Gene Ray, Howard “Ted” Greene, Ron Taylor and Peter Farrell.
An award dinner honoring Marquet and Ferré will be held on April 14 at the Estancia La Jolla Hotel.
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