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2018: Seven shortlisted SMEs out of 40 applicants

Genoscience Pharma, Lactips and Phytowelt GreenTechnologies awarded at the 9th EuropaBio SME Awards

Brussels, 04 December 2018: EuropaBio is delighted to announce Genoscience Pharma, Lactips and Phytowelt GreenTechnologies as overall winners of our Most Innovative European Biotech SMEs Awards 2018 in the categories of healthcare, industrial and agricultural biotech respectively. Runner’s-up awards in this year’s competition were presented to Medicortex Finland and CHAIN Biotechnology in the healthcare biotech category, to Kaffe Bueno in the industrial biotech category and Alkol in the agricultural biotech category.

This year’s Most Innovative European Biotech SME Awards saw 40 companies from across the EU competing for three coveted awards, acknowledging outstanding contribution towards meeting our societal, technical, and environmental problems through the application of biotechnology.

The awards were presented during a dinner ceremony in Brussels hosted by MEP Dr. Paul Rübig were each of the finalists took part in a ‘pitching session’, going head to head across the three categories and presenting their innovations to the audience.  The keynote speech was given by Deputy Director-General Wolfgang Burtscher, DG Research, Science and Innovation of the European Commission who emphasised biotech as a key enabling technology and SMEs in this field will continue to play a core role in delivering on the aspirations of Horizon Europe.

Peter Heinrich, chairman of EuropaBio’s SME platform commented: ‘EU Biotech SMEs and start-ups are at the cutting edge of innovation helping us not anly live healthier and longer, but also contribute to a sustainable bio-based economy, as demonstrated by the winners and the runners-up at this competition. However, they continue to face significant financing and regulatory barriers. These awards are an important opportunity demonstrate the outstanding work that is already being done and to recognise how much more could be achieved with the supportive, enabling regulation and incentives.’

EuropaBio Secretary General, Joanna Dupont – Inglis, added: ‘We are in awe of the work of these SMEs and start-ups.  They are on the front line in development of solutions to help provide for people and planet. Their vision, perseverance and achievements are truly inspirational, and we are proud to honour them with these annual awards.

From left to right: Dr. Peter Heinrich (SME Platform Chair, EuropaBio), Dr. Peter Welters (CEO, Phytowelt GreenTechnologies), Philippe Halfon (President and Founder, Genoscience Pharma), Marie Hélène Gramatikoff (CEO, Lactips), Prof. Dr. Andrew Porter (University of Aberdeen), Cindy Khaldi (Manager Associate, Genoscience Pharma), Dr. Paul Rübig (MEP) and Joanna Dupont-Ingli (Secretary General, EuropaBio)

The Winners

Healthcare Biotech Category: Genoscience Pharma (FR)

Genoscience Pharma is an innovative SME located in Marseille, France that is in product development phase with their therapy against cancer stem cells, which are considered to be responsible for treatment resistance and mutation. Genoscience’s drug candidate has the potential to reduce the frequency of relapse when combined with chemotherapy.

Industrial Biotech Category: Lactips (FR)

Lactips is specialised in the development of eco-friendly plastic raw material. One of the materials they manufacture is the only thermoplastic, sound and clean bio-based and biodegradable material worldwide to be water-soluble at room temperature and made of milk protein. These outstanding properties are brought by the industrial mastering of the transformation of milk protein into processable polymers. To help with its project investment and recruitment activities, Lactips received funding of EUR 1.5 million from the EU Horizon 2020 SME Instrument phase 2.

Agricultural Biotech Category: Phytowelt GreenTechnologies (DE)

Phytowelt Green Technologies is an SME focussing on plant-breeding projects that aim at enabling regional production of renewable resources. It is the first company able to produce a biotech raspberry fragrance in high quantity and quality without using energy inefficient petrochemical processes, which helps meet the big and unmet demand of the perfume, food and cosmetic markets for natural fragrances and flavours.


Healthcare Biotech Category

Medicortex Finland (FIN) is a very promising SME that is still not on the market neither but managed to raise a €1.1M funding from private investors. Medicortex is dedicated to improving the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of acute neurodegenerative conditions and is currently focusing on developing a diagnostic kit for the detection of traumatic brain injury.

CHAIN Biotechnology (UK) is a microbiome company focused on the development and commercialisation of microbial technology for the production and delivery of biotherapeutics to the gut. The UK-based company’s technology has the potential to be highly disruptive both in terms of cost but also efficacy for the treatment and prevention of chronic and debilitating gut related diseases. Preclinical tests with their lead product showed a reduction of inflammation implicated in bowel diseases.

Industrial Biotech Category

Kaffe Bueno (DK) is a coffee recycling company founded by Colombian natives. The company combines used coffee grounds with biotechnology to create healthy ingredients to be used in pharmaceutical applications. They will open next year Scandinavia’s first coffee biorefinery where they will process coffee waste from Copenhagen and extract its oil and other bioactive compounds.

Agricultural Biotech Category

Alkol Biotech (UK) started three years ago and aims at developing new plant varieties able to grow in colder and drier climates offering better resistance to pests and diseases and higher productivities in order to meet the needs of the bio-based markets. They signed this year a letter of intent for the sourcing of up to 500 thousand tonnes of non-woody lignocellulosic biomass to what would be Europe’s largest biorefinery.

Jury quotes

MediCortex Finland is a very interesting young company.  The evaluation of the extent and severity of concussion and traumatic brain injuries is a global challenge and there is an urgent requirement for a rapid and reliable “point of need”  diagnostic test. The company has been successful in the difficult task of translating a concept through to a proof-of concept clinic trial; a significant and challenging milestone for any SME. – Prof. Dr. Andrew Porter, University of Aberdeen

The approach adopted by CHAIN Biotechnology is not only robust and novel, but also very differentiated when you compare it to other microbiome therapeutics focussing on using non-engineered bacteria and bacterial cocktails. Their team of Clostridia experts already did outstanding work by creating a platform for assisted drug delivery, which supports the production and delivery of a wide range of bioactives including metabolites, peptides and enzymes. – Peter Heinrich, EuropaBio SME Platform and Sinfonie Life Sciences Management

The jury is delighted to recognise Genoscience Pharma for their highly innovative approach of a cancer therapy against cancer stem cells. Most chemotherapies are not yet effective against these cells and their research on liver cancer has a great potential. They are undoubtedly an innovator to watch and recognise. – MEP Dr. Paul Rübig

Kaffe Bueno is a great example of how biotech enables the circular bioeconomy by creating new value chains and collaborations, whilst using resources more efficiently. Kaffe Bueno has not only established a sustainable business in Europe, it simultaneously set a mission to increase the welfare along the entire value chain.  – Joanna Dupont-Inglis, Secretary General EuropaBio

The technological potential of Lactips is vast and many industrial actors would be able to profit from their innovations. In line with the EU’s mission to create clean alternatives to fossil-based products, which are more sustainable and efficient, Lactips provides a disruptive innovation that has a diverse field of application. – MEP Dr. Paul Rübig

Phytowelt GreenTechnologies’ creative innovation is enabling the company to produce and commercialise a high quality product, which is increasingly in demand, whilst using less resources, land and energy. – Joanna Dupont-Inglis, Secretary General EuropaBio

Alkol Biotech’s research and developments are a good example of how Europe is exploring the sustainability and competitivity of new types of biomass for the production of fuels and chemicals in the future. It is great to have such an innovative agricultural biotech SME applying for the awards. It proves Europe still has potential to be an inspirational market for green biotechnology. – Peter Heinrich, EuropaBio SME Platform and Sinfonie Life Sciences Management

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