2013: Novel breakthrough in cancer therapy research leads PsiOxus Therapeutics to be named the Most Innovative European Biotech SME
Novel breakthrough in cancer therapy research leads PsiOxus Therapeutics to be named the Most Innovative European Biotech SME in 2013.
The winner of the 2013 EuropaBio Most Innovative European Biotech SME award has been announced. PsiOxus Therapeutics won the esteemed award- now in its 4th year- due to their radical research and innovative breakthroughs in meeting societal grand challenges in the field of healthcare. The company is committed to developing a new approach to cancer therapy, by using oncolytic vaccines that are potent killers of cancer cells, but with minimal effects on normal healthy cells.
According to PsiOxus Therapeutics CEO, Dr John Beadle, Cancer is a disease that currently affects a third of all individuals at some point in their lives and this figure is expected to rise to nearly 50% between 2020 and 2030. Although survival rates are improving, the cumulative effects of conventional radiotherapy, surgery and cytotoxic chemotherapy can be very debilitating to individuals and a burden of care for both relatives and healthcare services. PsiOxus Therapeutics is developing a new approach to cancer that works with the body to fight disease while minimising side effects. Their lead product, ColoAd1, is a replicating cancer vaccine that destroys malignant cells in a manner designed to provoke an immune response against cancer antigens but that leaves the healthy cells alone. This approach combines never before used ways of fighting cancer.
The award was presented during the first ever European Biotechnology Week, at an event in Brussels which attracted an audience drawn from industry, policy, media and patient groups. The event discussed Europe’s future in the global biotech sector, and whether Europe is equipping itself with the right policy framework to encourage innovation, and importantly, retain it. Key speakers included Jean-Paul Kress, CEO of Sanofi Pasteur MSD; US venture capitalist, G. Steven Burrill, founder and CEO of Burrill & Company; Jim Philp, Directorate for Science, Technology and Industry at the OECD and MEPs Kay Swinburne and Philippe de Backer.
The winner saw off tough competition from four other runners up: EryDel SpA,an Italian innovative drug delivery company, specialised in the development of drugs and diagnostics delivered through human red blood cells, via a proprietary medical device with the objective of potentially limiting toxicity and reducing the risk of side effects against encapsulated medicine; . E-Therapeutics,a UK biotech SME, pioneering ‘network pharmacology,’ a new approach to drug discovery based on advances in network science and chemical biology, with which it seeks novel treatments for complex diseases, principally cancer and disorders of the nervous system; Gensight biologics from France, dedicated to the development of gene therapy based treatments for degenerative retinal diseases through prevention and vision restoration and Nanobiotix also hailing from France, aiming to enhance the efficacy of radiotherapy treatment in meeting the needs of cancer patients by developing innovative technology that uses nanoparticles called nanoXray, designed to directly enter tumour cells through either direct injection, intravenous injection, or topical application.
Speaking at the event, EuropaBio SME Platform chair, Tom Saylor, explained how the winner was chosen: “The creative innovation behind PisOxus Therapeutics novel approach to cancer therapy and solid business strategy is an outstanding example of innovative biotech in Europe. As the CEO of a biotech SME myself, I fully understand the difficult environment that innovative SMEs operate within, in terms of human resources, raising finance and navigating policy and legislative rules, particularly in the area of IP and protecting inventions. At EuropaBio, we are delighted to give a platform to these companies and the truly fantastic work that they do in helping to meet societal grand challenges of healthy ageing and safeguarding the environment. I hope that our annual Most Innovative Biotech SME Award can go some way to highlighting these issues and developing a sound policy and business environment in Europe for SMEs to flourish.”