dinesh patel utah

Indian American biotechnology and pharmaceuticals entrepreneur Dinesh Patel (right), seen here with his wife Kalpana Patel, was honored with the Utah Governor’s Medal for Science and Technology Lifetime Achievement 2020. (photo provided)

A pioneer entrepreneur in the field of biotechnology and pharmaceuticals, Dr. Dinesh Patel, was honored with the Utah Governor’s Medal for Science and Technology Lifetime Achievement 2020 award.

Patel, also a renowned philanthropist, has been a pioneer par excellence, with enormous contributions in fields ranging from pharmaceuticals to philanthropy, a news release said.

Considered the father of biotechnology and pharmaceuticals in the Rocky Mountain region, the Indian American entrepreneur has been instrumental in creating, driving and growing Utah’s science and technology community into the rich landscape, it said.

For his record and services, the State of Utah has honored him with a lifetime achievement Governor’s Medal for Science and Technology.

The medal has been awarded to deserving recipients since 1987 as a symbol of recognition to those individuals who have provided distinguished service to the state in the fields of science and technology, according to the release.

Beginning in 2018, a lifetime achievement award has been bestowed upon an individual who encompasses all aspects of the intent of the award and is seen as a significant contributor to the state in the science and technology community, it said. 

In Utah’s robust innovation and scientific community, Patel’s influence is visible at all levels. From ideation to creation to implementation, his has worked tirelessly and quietly to make Utah’s science and technology footprint substantive and strong.

It has been nearly 40 years since Patel came to Utah. His innovations and hard work brought financial success and improved the lives of thousands across the globe, the release notes.

He continues to drive new and better innovations and technology supporting Utah companies and organizations with his time, effort and funding. Patel works to make sure Utah is a beacon for innovation, the release notes.

Patel founded TheraTech Inc. in 1985 serving as president and CEO. He led the company in a successful initial public offering in 1992, and successful acquisition in 1999 when Watson Pharmaceuticals Inc. purchased the company for over $350 million.

With over 250 employees at the time of acquisition, TheraTech was a research and development company that specializes in technologies used to administer controlled, time-release medicines, including transdermal patches, oral systems for delivering pain medications, topical preparations and cell-targeted technologies, which are commonplace today, according to the release.

Post TheraTech, Patel founded Salus Therapeutics, a biotechnology company that developed anti-sense pharmaceuticals. Genta Inc., acquired Salus in 2003 for $30 million.

He continued to start and grow companies in the state, founding and cofounding other successful ventures, including a family investment firm, Patel Family Investments, which has a current portfolio of over 25 early-stage companies and 12 private equity/venture funds, it said.

Patel has received distinguished honors locally and across the globe for his leadership, mentorship and contributions to the scientific communities including the State of Utah’s Governor’s Medal for Science and Technology Award – Industry Category in 1996, his bio notes.

He has made huge contribution as a philanthropist. Shree Chhotubhai A. Patel Hospital & Community Health Center, Mota Fofalia, Gujarat, is a Feralia 100-bed hospital funded and run through Shaktikrupa Charitable Foundation.

The foundation is funded by the families of Dr. Dinesh Patel and his brothers Dr. Kiran Patel and Pradip Patel.

The hospital was built in memory of their father and serves nearly 65,000 people in villages surrounding Mota Fofalia, it said.

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