Three innovative biotech companies have baged the prestigious EuropaBio SME Awards for their innovative business models.
British healthcare player NovaBiotics Ltd, French industrial biotech specialist Carbios S.A, and Spanish agribiotech company Iden Biotechnology each baged a €10,000 prize money, which was awarded by MEP Paul Rübig during a high-level event at the European Parliament. „It is true that biotech SMEs face a difficult environment in terms of finance, regulatory policy and legislative rules, said EuropaBIO’s SME platform head Peter Heinrich. „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.“
77 SMEs participated in the 8th edition of EuropaBio’s award. Aberdeen-based NovaBiotics was awarded for its business model to fight infectious diseases and prevent antimicrobial restistance (AMR) with a novel treatment concept: synthetic antimicrobial peptides (AMP) and aminothiols derived form the body's first line of defence against pathogenic bacteria and fungi. The early-stage company has six programmes under development that all use a microbicidal membrane-active mechanism to minimise development of therapy resistance: Novexatin (NP213), currently in Phase IIb study with co-development partner Taro Pharmaceuticals; Nylexa; Luminaderm (NP108); as well as Phase II cystic fibrosis drug Lynovex. Preclinical candidates include Novarifyn (NP432); and the antifungal compound Novamycin (NP339)
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 cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, etc.
Carbios S.A, the winner of the Industrial Biotech category, has invented a process to enzymatically depolymerise plastic (PET, PLA) packagings. With 64 million tonnes of annual production, PET is a major contributor to marine littering, a global ecological threat. The esterase-based recycling process, expected to achieve demonstration scale in 2020, completely depolymerises PET into its momomers monoethyle glycole and terephtalic acid. The monomers allow repolymerisation into virgin PET with no quality loss or drastic presorting/pretreatment. EuropaBio honoured the company for contributing to the circular bioeconomy, a recently reviewed political strategic priority of the European Commission. „Carbios brings a major change to the way that plastics are produced and consumed,“ the industry voice of Europe stressed in a press release.
The runner-up, German Numaferm (Düsseldorf) has developed a highly cost-efficient process to manufacture peptides based on well-designed microorganisms that convert simple nutrients to peptides.
The third awardee, agbiotech specialist Iden Biotechnology (Navarra), is a developer of biostimulants and biopesticides, and innovative methods to improve crop productivity.