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Posted: November 01, 2010

Top Company 2010: Allosource

Winner in the Health Care category

Mike Taylor

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What makes AlloSource a Top Company starts with its mission: to turn the gifts of deceased donors into life-enhancing and life-saving products for others. That can be tendons, ligaments, entire joints or skin for burn victims. AlloSource also is the world's largest producer of transplantable adult stem cells.

As one of the nation's largest nonprofit providers of bone and soft-tissue for transplants, Centennial-based AlloSource has put together eight straight years of revenue growth and plows back about half its earnings into the communities where it works to promote organ and tissue donations.

"What we do is help save people's lives," says Tom Cycyota, who is in his 10th year as AlloSource's president and CEO. "We're in business because somebody was kind enough to give the gift of themselves when they passed on. And that allows us to translate that gift into helping somebody else out from a recipient perspective."

Founded in 1994, AlloSource also owns the nation's largest laboratory testing facility for organ and tissue donors, located in Centennial about a mile from its corporate headquarters. In all, the company employs about 450 in Colorado and about 500 throughout the country.

Last year was particularly notable for AlloSource as it was granted its first U.S. patent on a proprietary cleaning and disinfecting process and applied for additional patents covering new allograft products and manufacturing processes.

The company also began production and distribution on a proprietary stem-cell product called AlloStem in which adult stem-cell bone grafts are used by surgeons to promote bone growth and healing. AlloSource also entered the wound-care market with an amnion (inner membrane) patch that provides an internal wound covering.

You would think a company in this line of business would be recession proof, but that's not exactly true. Cycyota says that during the recession traffic deaths have dropped by 9 percent. At the same time, he says, fewer surgeries are being performed as people have lost their insurance or their worker's compensation, or they're reluctant to take time off for surgeries.

What hasn't slowed down, Cycyota is happy to report, are people signing up to become organ and tissue donors - especially in Colorado.

"The people in Colorado are the most generous people in the country," he says. "We have more people who sign up at the driver's license office to designate themselves as organ and tissue donors than anyplace else in the country. That's a fact. And that hasn't slowed down with the economy slowing down the way it has."

AlloSource is a tax-exempt organization that reinvests half its revenues each year in new plant property and equipment, and half back into the communities of donors. Last year it distributed $5.2 million in charities to promote organ and tissue donations in communities across the country.

It is then AlloSource's mission to turn the gifts of donors into live-saving and life-enhancing material.

"The employees are the people who make the miracles happen here at AlloSource," Cycyota says. "We have dedicated people who are completely mission-focused to take this donated tissue and turn it into transplantable materials for the doctors."
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Mike Taylor is the managing editor of ColoradoBiz. He writes about small-business money issues and how startups are launched. Email him at mtaylor@cobizmag.com.

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