James Carlson, president and CEO of Fargo-based PRACS Institute, has been named Ernst & Young’s Life Sciences Entrepreneur of the Year for the Minnesota and Dakotas region. PRACS Institute is a member of the North Dakota Trade Office.
Citing a need for testing generic drugs, Carlson and a former partner launched PRACS Institute from a small north Fargo office in 1983.
In 2002, Carlson built a 600-bed, 125,000-square-foot PRACS research center on a 19-acre campus in south Fargo. A $22 million addition under construction will add 240 beds.
Last year, 12,000 people were paid about $13 million to participate in PRACS drug studies conducted on campus.
About 100,000 study participants have been involved in PRACS Institute studies since its founding. Its three facilities in Fargo, East Grand Forks, Minn., and San Diego employ nearly 500 people.
The Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award honors entrepreneurs who have created successful, growing business ventures.
Carlson was presented the North Dakota Business Innovator of the Year Award in 2005