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October 6, 2004

UCSD CONNECT Recruits Top High-Tech Talent
New Director, Duane Roth, Is A National
And San Diego-Based Technology Leader

By Monica Doyle

University of California, San Diego is pleased to announce that Duane Roth, a well known life science CEO and a high-tech community leader, has accepted the critical position of Executive Director for UCSD CONNECT. He will step down as the full-time CEO of Alliance Pharmaceuticals. During a transitional period, Roth will be Acting CEO of Alliance on a part-time basis, in order to assure a smooth transition into his full-time leadership role at CONNECT.

“Duane is a superb choice at this time in San Diego’s growth and development. He has an excellent understanding of the nature of a publicly funded research university and a broad web of relationships in the high technology business community,” says Marye Anne Fox, UCSD’s new Chancellor. “This combination of knowledge and relationships means that Duane is well positioned to identify new initiatives that can assure the continued global competitiveness of this region in science and technology.”

Roth will dedicate his efforts to helping UCSD, the research institutions on the Torrey Pines Mesa and the San Diego region as a whole continue to grow as a globally recognized innovation hub.

“Duane’s willingness to assume this leadership role should reinvigorate CONNECT as well as facilitate a number of new collaborations among organizations dedicated to supporting San Diego’s innovation platform,” according to Mary L. Walshok, Associate Vice Chancellor for Public Programs at UCSD, with whom Roth will be working.

Founded in 1985, by a group of private citizens, with support from then UCSD Chancellor, Richard C. Atkinson, CONNECT became a driving force behind San Diego’s technology growth. Drawing on the early successes of companies such as Linkabit and Hybritech, CONNECT created a model of networking and business assistance that has been pivotal to the growth of hundreds of innovative technology companies in the region, both in IT and the Life Sciences. More than half of the 60 companies that have spun out of Hybritech and the 90-plus companies that have spun out of Linkabit, have participated in CONNECT Springboard and Financial Forums over the years. CONNECT supported companies have been twice as likely as other entrepreneurial companies to be successful and in business after five years.

Roth is committed to continuing CONNECT’s support for start-up and high growth companies. Working closely with the Executive Committee, Roth will be implementing a number of goals in the year ahead.

“One of the most important things we can do,” according to Roth, “is identify research with promising commercial applications earlier in the process and connect researchers with entrepreneurs, investors and business leaders who can help turn promising ideas into viable businesses. In the months ahead, we expect to be doing many more research focused programs, working with institutions across the Torrey Pines Mesa.”

David Hale, the current Chair of the Executive Committee and one of the founding members of CONNECT, noted how important it is for organizations such as the RTA, EDC, BIOCOM and Telecom to work more collaboratively, in order to increase San Diego’s global visibility as an innovation hub and develop strategies to increase the presence of outside capital providers in the region.

“Duane has a fabulous track record as a marketer and advocate. As Director of CONNECT, he will be well positioned to build these sorts of alliances on behalf of San Diego’s technology community,” Hale says.

Irwin Jacobs, CEO of Qualcomm, adds, “When we started Linkabit back in the 1970’s, San Diego was still a town dominated by defense contracting and tourism. Over the last 25 years, our economy has been completely transformed, thanks in large part to the growth of the superb research institutions on the Torrey Pines Mesa, especially UCSD. CONNECT has been essential as well and has played a pivotal role over the years in driving the technology commercialization process of these institutions.”

Roth first came to San Diego in 1989 when he launched Alliance Pharmaceutical Corp., which he headed until being named CONNECT’s executive director. Prior to Alliance, Roth held executive positions at American Home Products (now Wyeth) and Johnson & Johnson. He serves as a member of many local Boards including the UC San Diego Foundation (past Chair), the UCSD Cardiovascular Center (past Chair), Cal-IT², the UCSD School of Pharmacy, the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation (past Chair), BIOCOM (Chair), the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), the California Healthcare Institute (CHI), the San Diego Science and Technology Council, the College of Business Administration at San Diego State University (Chair), the Lincoln Club of San Diego (Chair), the Citizens’ Advisory Committee to SANDAG on Affordable Housing (co-Chair). Roth also serves as a member of the University of California President’s Advisory Council on Science and Technology and has been appointed to Governor Schwarzenegger’s Commission on Jobs in the Economy. Roth is a graduate of Iowa Wesleyan College, where he serves as a trustee.

UCSD CONNECT is the globally recognized, university-based non-profit organization fostering entrepreneurship in the San Diego region by catalyzing, accelerating, and supporting the growth of the most promising technology and life sciences businesses. Focused on assisting growth companies in the San Diego region, UCSD CONNECT has been directly involved with over 900 companies since its inception in 1985, helping them raise over $11B in capital. Part of the University of California, San Diego, UCSD CONNECT has a dual role in accelerating growth: it assists growth companies in the San Diego region and promotes the commercialization of technology from university-based research. UCSD CONNECT's programs also help business service providers, attorneys, accountants, bankers, investors, and marketing professionals with the knowledge about emerging technologies and access to new business opportunities. UCSD CONNECT is entirely self-supporting and receives no funding from the University or the State of California. It is supported by membership dues, course fees, and corporate underwriting for specific programs. For more information, visit

Media Contacts: Monica Doyle, (858) 822-2628 or (858) 534-3624

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