EuropaBio, the European Association for Bioindustries, today announces the finalists for the 6th edition of its Most Innovative European Biotech SME Awards, a unique annual initiative recognising innovative biotech SMEs and the crucial role they play in answering some of society’s greatest challenges.
While some of today’s most successful business giants may have started from luminaries experimenting in garages, over the years highly innovative small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in Europe have developed novel ways of addressing challenges such as unmet medical needs, resource efficiency, climate change, energy shortages and an ageing and ever increasing population.
Twenty-six such SMEs from eleven European countries applied for this year’s awards and the Jury have shortlisted five companies, three in the healthcare category and two in the industrial biotech category, to participate in the awards ceremony taking place during EuropaBio’s Event on the Benefits of Biotechnology at the European Parliament on 23rd of June. The awards will be presented by Carlos Moedas, EU Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation.
The five shortlisted SMEs are:
Healthcare or Red Biotech Category
(Prize sponsored by Deerfield Management Company)
Nanobiotix is a late clinical-stage nanomedicine company pioneering novel approaches for the local treatment of cancer. The company’s first-in-class, proprietary technology, NanoXray, enhances radiotherapy energy with a view to provide a new, more efficient treatment for cancer patients. NanoXray products are compatible with current radiotherapy treatments and are meant to treat potentially a wide variety of cancers via multiple routes of administration. Nanobiotix’s lead product NBTXR3, based on NanoXray, is currently under clinical development for Soft Tissue Sarcoma and locally advanced Head and Neck Cancer. The company has partnered with PharmaEngine for clinical development and commercialization of NBTXR3 in Asia. Nanobiotix is listed on the regulated market of Euronext in Paris. The company, based in Paris, France, opened an affiliate office in the US Boston area in September 2014.
MolMed S.p.A. is an Italian healthcare biotechnology company, focused on oncology and genetic orphan diseases, with two products in late clinical development stage addressing large unmet medical needs. MolMed is listed on the Milan Stock Exchange since 2008 and is positioned as a worldwide recognized leading company in the booming field of cell & gene therapies. Its unique technological platform in this space is exploited for the progress of company’s proprietary programs as well as for projects performed in collaboration with third parties.
Based in the UK, Redx Pharma is focused on the development of proprietary, small molecule therapeutics to address areas of high, unmet medical need, principally in cancer and infection and immunology. By improving the characteristics of existing drug classes to create highly differentiated, novel, best-in-class drugs, Redx has already established a portfolio of 13 proprietary, drug programs. Five programs have achieved pre-clinical proof of concept, with relevance for respective therapies to treat MRSA, and solid and liquid tumours.
Industrial or White Biotech Category
Svanvid is a Polish biotech company engaged in the production of active – and at the same time – natural substances, which are applicable in the pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries. It has elaborated methods for the production of ultraclean, natural and innovative products based on research in microalgae cultivation.
The internationally acclaimed Celtic Renewables Ltd is widely regarded as one of the most innovative new renewables companies in the UK, producing environmentally and commercially sustainable “drop-in” advanced biofuel (biobutanol) from the copious residues of one of Scotland’s most important industries – the £4-billion malt whisky industry (each year 2 billion litres of liquid effluent and 750,000 tonnes of barley residue is generated) – not only providing a sustainable disposal route for the by-products of one of the UK’s largest and most iconic industries, but also integrating renewable energy production with environmental sustainability and carbon reduction, by producing sustainable biobutanol as a direct replacement for fossil road fuel.
No applications received in the Agricultural or Green Biotech Category
Sadly, as in previous years, there have been no applications from agricultural biotech SMEs in Europe. EuropaBio considers this to be a symptom of Europe’s hostile and unpredictable regulatory and policy environment for companies operating in this sector.
Nathalie Moll, Secretary General of EuropaBio: ‘The work and stories of this year’s shortlisted SMEs provide an incredibly inspiring insight into the value, diversity and potential of European biotechnology for citizens. Having the awards presented by Commissioner Moedas during one of Europe’s most important biotech events of the year will undoubtedly play a big part in helping to raise awareness about the dedication of European biotech SMEs to answering our society’s most pressing needs.’