Labiotech was nominated with Most Influential Media at Mediscience Awards 2016

To our delight (and to be honest, surprise), Labiotech was nominated for the European Mediscience Awards in the category as ‘Media Commentator of the Year’.

european_mediscience_awards_london_2016Joachim flew out to London for the awards last week (in the Liverpool Street area) to represent the team. This year in the same category we were nominated alongside Fierce Biotech, the Financial Times and BioCentury.

We just want to note, this was a really encouraging development for us, to be listed alongside other Media which has been around for much longer, and with bigger clout in the industry.

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Joachim in his bow-tie with Frank Ubags, the CEO of Cevec, which is working on viral vectors for Gene Therapy.

As you know, we started just under 2 years ago now, and as a startup in media it is particularly exciting to receive such feedback for our hard work.

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Joachim took a snap of the team photo during the nominee presentation…

So which other biotechs stole the show last night? Presented by Louise Minchin, TV personality and BBC journalist (in the red dress) and George Freeman MP, Minister for Life Sciences UK, here are the winners…


BEST COMMUNICATION AWARD – Evotec

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Chris Gardner, Partner, Consilium Strategic Communications; Frederik Gorter de Vries, Corporate Finance, Kempen & Co; Gabriele Hansen, Head of Corporate Communications, Evotec AG.

Evotec is a drug development company based in Hamburg (Germany) with multiple indication areas within its pipeline.

These include a Phase II candidates for Depression, Acromegaly and Insomnia, and others to include Oncology, Alzheimer’s and Inflammatory targets. Partners include Boehringer Ingelheim and MedImmune, Janssen and Roche.

BUSINESS INNOVATION AWARD – CRISPR Therapeutics

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Philip with Rodger Novak, the CEO of CRISPR Therapeutics at our conference Labiotech Refresh last month.

Interestingly we’ve just written about CRISPR Therapeutics as it forged a deal with Anagenesis Biotechnologies to tackle the rare disease Duchenne’s Muscular Dystrophy.

Rodger Novak, the CEO, also attended Labiotech Refresh here in Berlin 2 weeks back, and it was exciting to hear some of the developments this leader in the field has been making. The fireside chat Rodger had with our CEO Philip is also available to watch here.

BREAKTHROUGH OF THE YEAR AWARD – GW Pharmaceuticals

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George Freeman MP, Minister for Life Sciences UK; Mary Clark, Managing Director, Hume Brophy; Adam George, Chief Financial Officer, GW Pharmaceuticals plc (winner); Frederik Gorter de Vries, Corporate Finance, Kempen & Co.

GW Pharmaceuticals has certainly been a popular choice of topic this year. With their breakthrough cannabidiol based therapy for certain rare types of epilepsy, GW is the first of its kind in the UK (and also Europe) to be developing Cannabis-derived compounds for clinical trials.

They have equally been as popular (and perhaps slightly controversial) in the wider press for their focus, yet they are more than deserving of this award.

BEST TECHNOLOGY AWARD – Nanobiotix

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George Freeman MP; Anne Hennecke, Managing Partner, MC Services AG; Philippe Mauberna, Chief Financial Officer, Nanobiotix SA (winner); Frederik Gorter de Vries, Corporate Finance, Kempen & Co and Louise Minchin.

Nanobiotix is another interesting biotech we’ve discussed a lot recently. Their medtech is designed to enhance pre-existing radiotherapies by local ‘nanobot’ emissions. This would allow a stronger change of killing cancer cells because of a higher threshold of treatment (which is otherwise limited due to adverse effects at prolonged exposure).

Just this year, one candidate to treat prostate cancer received FDA approval for a Phase I/II trial in the US, raising €21.3M to advance this clinical development, and by the end of the year is expecting to finish its Phase II/III trial for soft tissue sarcoma.

CAPITAL MARKET TRANSACTION OF THE YEAR AWARD – Circassia

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The Circassia team at the launch of the company onto the London Stock Exchange in March 2014 (Source: LSE)

Circassia is based in Oxford (UK) and was part of 2014’s record Biotech IPOs – raising a whopping €268M. It focuses on respiratory diseases, such as asthma and allergies.

It has also just begun a Phase III trial for its short-course immunotherapy against grass allergies. However, we’re a bit intrigued as to why they won this year, given this past year has been slightly less impressive with the numbers – despite their clinical pipeline advances…

CHIEF EXECUTIVE OF THE YEAR – Galapagos

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George Freeman MP; Onno van de Stolpe, Chief Executive, Galapagos NV (winner); Birgit Brekelmans, Equity Capital Markets, Kempen & Co; Julie Simmonds, Director, Equity Research, Panmure Gordon; and Louise Minchin.

Galapagos is one of the mostly hotly discussed biotechs in Europe, with around 400 employees and historic IPOs on NASDAQ. It is partnered with several big pharmas, like Gilead, AbbVie, Servier (to develop therapies for Osteoarthritis) and MorphoSys (for Inflammatory Diseases).

Onno Van de Stolpe was the winner of this one, as CEO of Galapagos, which has regularly featured in the news this financial year. For this reason, it has done well under Stolpe’s guidance, who has helped it recover from each financial wave.

MEDIA COMMENTATOR OF THE YEAR – BioCentury

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Karen (pictured) and Kate Bingham, a managing partner at Life Science Advisors, circulated a letter on the sexism presented at an After party at the elite J.P. Morgan conference in San Francisco (Credit: BioCentury)

Karen Bernstein, the co-founder of BioCentury, a US based magazine, wrote a letter of criticism on an after party at the J.P. Morgan conference in February, which was quite controversial this year.

This stimulated a well-needed debate on diversity and sexism in Biotech – an increasingly relevant discussion for the industry.

THE EMERGING STAR AWARD – BioNtech

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Philip interviewing the COO of BioNtech at the mRNA conference in Berlin a few months back. Watch the full interview here.

As the biggest private Biotech in Europe, BioNTech has become one of major players in themRNA field – along with money-magnet Moderna (US) and CureVac (Germany), which has already raised €300M.

The mRNA expertise of BioNTech has not only yielded several candidates for its pipeline, but also a€1.37Bn deal with Sanofi. And just 2 weeks ago it published in Nature on the ‘first clinically relevant and systemic mRNA cancer vaccine’…in the world. A well deserved title!

COMPANY OF THE YEAR AWARD – Genmab

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Genmab also won twice back at the 2013 Mediscience awards – for CEO of the year, as well as for the Best Communication Award. Here Oscar Izeboud, Kempen & Co; Juliet Thompson, Nomura Code; Prof. Jan van de Winkel – Genmab A/S (winner); Fiona Henson, Buchanan; and Louise Minchin, awards presenter.

Founded in 1999, Genmab is developing antibody therapies for cancer and is now one of the most valuable European Biotechs. It is listed on the Nasdaq Copenhagen, with a market cap of over €7M(57M DKK), and 186 employees.

Janssen was present at ASCO to present Phase III data for daratumumab, the result of collaboration with Genmab.


So yes, once again it was a really big deal for us to be nominated alongside some of the most influential media in the industry, and perhaps next year (fingers crossed) we might take an award home with us!
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Feature Image Credit: European Mediscience Awards
Awards photos sources: Mediscience Awards 2016 (and for Genmab, 2013 Archives)

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