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Announcing contenders for the 2017 awards!

There were 25 small and medium biotech companies in contention for this year’s awards, with five of them shortlisted by the Jury to compete across three categories: healthcare, industrial and agricultural biotechnology. They will be showcased during a pitching session, followed by an awards ceremony hosted by Awards Jury Member and MEP Paul Rubig at the European Parliament in Brussels on 22 November.

The five shortlisted SMEs are:

Healthcare or Red Biotech Category

NovaBiotics is a UK-based clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on the design and development of first-in-class anti-infectives for difficult-to-treat, medically unmet diseases. A leading innovator in the anti-infectives space, the company’s robust technology and business model has been validated through successful development, from concept to clinic, of two lead products and securing the most appropriate commercial collaborations to enable the delivery of these highly promising therapy candidates to markets of significant worth.

NovaBiotics is an outstanding young SME.  They are tacking a global problem of developing new anti-infectives to address hard to treat conditions.  They have been successful in the very difficult space of translating a concept through to the clinic which is so hard for SMEs.  They have benefited from strong leadership and very effective team working. – Dame Anne Glover, Jury Member

Nightingale Health is a Finnish biotechnology company addressing chronic diseases with a proprietary blood analysis platform that can improve risk prediction of, among others, cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. With headquarters and laboratory facilities in Finland, along with two franchising laboratories in the UK, they routinely provide services for academic research customers internationally. With clinical pilots ongoing, the company’s next major milestone is to bring its blood analysis service to healthcare providers globally. Ultimately, Nightingale aims to make preventative healthcare in chronic diseases available for everyone.

Ageing populations imply a growing demand to mitigate the healthcare costs of chronic diseases like cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. Nightingale’s pioneering and comprehensive biomarker analysis method holds great promise in addressing such challenges and enabling better prevention. They are undoubtedly an innovator to watch and recognise. Frank Bulens, Jury Member

Industrial or White Biotech Category

Carbios is a French green chemistry company focused on discovering and developing enzymatic bioprocesses to reinvent the lifecycle of plastics. By combining enzymology and plasturgy, a novel industrial approach, Carbios brings a major change to the way that plastics are produced and consumed. The company’s processes are based on the use of enzymes produced by natural microorganisms selected for their ability to degrade the polymers that make up plastic materials.

The Jury is delighted to recognize Carbios for their innovation in industrial biotechnology and green chemistry. Taking their cue from nature, their work on enzymes to improve biodegradability and reusability of plastics show how circular economy approaches can be used to address current industrial and environmental challenges in Europe and beyond. MEP Paul Ruebig, Jury Member

Numaferm is a German spin-off company from the Institute of Biochemistry of the Heinrich-Heine-University in Düsseldorf that has developed a reliable, cost-efficient technology to manufacture peptides based on well-designed microorganisms that convert simple nutrients to peptides. Peptides are biomolecules with unique characteristics and functionalities – for example pharmaceutical, antimicrobial or adhesive.

Numaferm has developed a bioprocess-based technology platform, which allows for predictable production of peptides at higher yields, at lower costs and much shorter production time. The disruptive technology can be used for almost all peptides, and production on an industrial scale becomes technically feasible. Numaferm’s technology solves limitations of available technologies and enables the cost-efficient production of peptides for pharmaceuticals, diagnostics, cosmetics, food additives and for other applications.- Peter Heinrich, Jury Member

Agricultural or Green Biotech Category

Iden Biotechnology is a Spanish company developing biotech products and integrated solutions for crop yield and quality enhancement, including agrobiological products (e.g. plant biostimulants and biopesticides), and more productive crop varieties. Their products are part of the general industry of farm inputs and, within that, the broad sectors of seeds and crop protection.

Iden Biotechnology is cutting-edge, courageous and innovative. They have received recognition through public grants and product development projects at European, national and regional levels. They run projects with Argentina and soon with India, typifying the global and collaborative nature of the biotech business. It is also particularly exciting for us at EuropaBio to see agricultural biotech SMEs applying for the second year in a row, showing that Europe is still inspirational and innovative in the area of agricultural biotechnology. – John Brennan, Jury Member