European Parliament, Brussels, 22 November 2017
During a high-level event at the European Parliament with biotech CEOs, industry leaders and venture capitalists, MEP Paul Rübig (Awards Jury Member and event host) awarded NovaBiotics (healthcare biotech, UK), Carbios (industrial biotech, France) and Iden Biotechnology (agricultural biotech, Spain) with the top prizes in the 8th edition of the EuropaBio Most Innovative Biotech SME Awards. Apart from the public recognition, the winners receive 10000 EUR each and a two-year free membership of EuropaBio.
[Quote] Peter Heinrich, Chairman of the EuropaBio SME Platform: “European biotech companies are among the most innovative worldwide and it was inspiring to hear the stories of both the winners and runners-up of this competition. It is also true that biotech SMEs face a difficult environment in terms of finance, regulatory policy and legislative rules. This is why it was a privilege to have them showcased in the European Parliament and offer them public recognition demonstrating their outstanding work and benefits to society, and to recognise the importance of sound European policy and business environment for such enterprises to thrive.”
Twenty-seven innovative biotech companies from a dozen European countries applied for this year’s competition. The initiative recognises highly innovative small and medium sized enterprises in Europe that have developed novel ways of meeting our societal, technical, and environmental problems through the application of biotechnology.
HEALTHCARE OR RED BIOTECH CATEGORY
The winner, NovaBiotics, is a UK-based clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on the design and development of first-in-class anti-infectives for difficult-to-treat, medically unmet diseases. A leading innovator in the anti-infectives space, the company’s robust technology and business model has been validated through successful development, from concept to clinic, of two lead products and securing the most appropriate commercial collaborations to enable the delivery of these highly promising therapy candidates to markets of significant worth.
The runner-up in this category was Nightingale Health, a Finnish biotechnology company addressing chronic diseases with a proprietary blood analysis platform that can improve risk prediction of, among others, cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. With headquarters and laboratory facilities in Finland, along with two franchising laboratories in the UK, they routinely provide services for academic research customers internationally. With clinical pilots ongoing, the company’s next
major milestone is to bring its blood analysis service to healthcare providers globally. Ultimately, Nightingale aims to make preventative healthcare in chronic diseases available for everyone.
INDUSTRIAL OR WHITE BIOTECH CATEGORY
The winner, Carbios, is a French green chemistry company focused on discovering and developing enzymatic bioprocesses to reinvent the lifecycle of plastics. By combining enzymology and plasturgy, a novel industrial approach, Carbios brings a major change to the way that plastics are produced and consumed. The company’s processes are based on the use of enzymes produced by natural microorganisms selected for their ability to degrade the polymers that make up plastic materials.
The runner-up was Numaferm, a German spin-off company from the Institute of Biochemistry of the Heinrich-Heine-University in Düsseldorf that has developed a reliable, cost-efficient technology to manufacture peptides based on well-designed microorganisms that convert simple nutrients to peptides. Peptides are biomolecules with unique characteristics and functionalities – for example pharmaceutical, antimicrobial or adhesive.
AGRICULTURAL OR GREEN BIOTECH CATEGORY
The winner and top qualified applicant in this category was Iden Biotechnology, a Spanish company developing biotech products and integrated solutions for crop yield and quality enhancement, including agrobiological products (e.g. plant biostimulants and biopesticides), and more productive crop varieties. Their products are part of the general industry of farm inputs and, within that, the broad sectors of seeds and crop protection.