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2015: EU Commissioners acclaim biotech innovation and European SMEs at landmark event

“No other sector holds the promise to enhance quality of life, productivity and environmental sustainability through innovation like biotechnology, while also benefitting Europe’s economy and research base” with these words, Carlo Incerti, Chief Medical Officer, Genzyme Corporation and Chairman of EuropaBio, opened the 3rd EuropaBio event on the Benefits of Biotechnology hosted by Philippe De Backer MEP at the European Parliament today. Vytenis Andriukaitis, EU Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, and Carlos Moedas, EU Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, were also keynote contributors. Over 100 attendees witnessed inspiring presentations and testimonials from biotech business leaders and beneficiaries about what the technology is achieving and what it brings concretely to people and economies in Europe. The event concluded with EuropaBio’s Most Innovative European Biotech SME Awards ceremony celebrating the work of MolMed S.p.A. and Celtic Renewables Ltd., leading European SMEs in healthcare and industrial biotechnology respectively. The event itself was preceded by a Bell ringing ceremony to mark the opening of the Euronext stock market where biotech companies feature more and more prominently.

In his opening address, EU Commissioner Andriukaitis noted that ‘I would like to restate the European Commission’s strong interest and fundamental support for what the biotech sector has to offer, namely benefits for people, the economy, and sustainability’.

The event concluded with the unveiling of the winners of the 2015 Most Innovative European Biotech SMEs Awards: MolMed S.p.A. for the healthcare category and Celtic Renewables Ltd for the industrial biotechnology category. In his introduction to the 6th edition of the annual SME Awards, Commissioner Moedas underlined how ‘We need to have a healthy disregard for the impossible in order to make truly great leaps in innovation. All the winners and finalists of this year’s EuropaBio Most Innovative European Biotech Awards undoubtedly share that healthy disregard for the impossible, and it has been inspirational for me to play a small part in these awards’.

The winner in the Healthcare Biotech Category sponsored by the Deerfield Management Company*, 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.

The winner in the Industrial Biotech Category, 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.