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’.
Joachim 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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
This stimulated a well-needed debate on diversity and sexism in Biotech – an increasingly relevant discussion for the industry.
THE EMERGING STAR AWARD – BioNtech
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
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.
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!