Press release

Who will win the 2018 Most Innovative Biotech SME Awards?

EuropaBio is proud to reveal the finalists for the 9th edition of the Most Innovative European Biotech SME Awards.

Brussels 30 November. EuropaBio is proud to reveal the finalists for the 9th edition of the Most Innovative European Biotech SME Awards, a unique annual initiative which recognises the achievements of these, small but dynamic, organisations, and the crucial role they play in answering some of society’s greatest challenges.

Over 40 small and medium biotech companies from across the EU have competed for this year’s awards. Seven of them have been shortlisted by the jury, competing across three biotech categories: healthcare, industrial and agricultural biotechnology. They will be showcased during a pitching session, followed by an awards ceremony hosted by Jury Member and MEP Dr. Paul Rübig in Brussels on December 3rd. Other guest speakers will include Wolfgang Burtscher, Deputy Director General for the Commission’s DG Science, Research and Innovation, and jury member Andrew Porter, Professor at the University of Aberdeen, and Director of the Scottish Biologics Facility. In addition to a two-year free membership at EuropaBio, the winners will each also receive €10,000 in prize money.

‘This year’s finalists demonstrate how innovative biotech, developed by SMEs and Start-ups, is benefiting people and planet, through delivering solutions to the UN SDGs. They do so whilst also overcoming significant barriers in accessing finance and through their outstanding resourcefulness.’ said Joanna – Dupont Inglis, Secretary General and Jury Member.

EuropaBio SME Platform Chair, Peter Heinrich, added ‘The impressive diversity and high quality of applications we have received showcases the significant benefits of innovative biotech SMEs, based in the EU. They are a huge asset to Europe and strongly contribute to its economic future.  However, because their organisations are so lean, their transformative work all too often goes unnoticed. It’s a pleasure and a privilege to celebrate their hard work, ingenuity, resourcefulness and success at these annual awards.’

The seven shortlisted companies are:

Healthcare or Red Biotech Category

MediCortex Finland is a pre-clinical-stage biotechnology company dedicated to improving the diagnosis and treatment of acute neurodegenerative conditions and is currently focused on developing a diagnostic tool based on biomarkers. In the long run, the company wants to develop novel multifunctional treatment for traumatic brain injury (TBI), as well as for brain injury due to stroke. The next goal for this ambitious SME, is to expand the program towards the development of an innovative drug formulated to halt the progression of brain injury.

Genoscience Pharma is a clinical-stage biotechnology company from Marseille, France. The SME focusses on the discovery and development of novel small molecule anticancer therapeutics and drugs to improve cancer treatment and clinical outcomes for patients. By targeting cancer stem cells, which are considered to be responsible for treatment resistance and mutation, Genoscience’s drug candidate has the potential to reduce the frequency of relapse when combined with chemotherapy.

CHAIN Biotechnology is a microbiome company focused on the development and commercialisation of microbial technology for the production and delivery of biotherapeutics to the gut. The UK-based company’s technology has the potential to be highly disruptive both in terms of cost but also efficacy for the treatment and prevention of chronic and debilitating gut related diseases.

Industrial or White Biotech Category

Kaffe Bueno is a SME founded by three young and passionate coffee experts from Colombia, who are now based in Copenhagen, Denmark. Their mission is to transform the way people perceive coffee and to extend its lifecycle. In addition to using coffee ground residues as cosmetic ingredients, Kaffe Bueno has identified several compounds within the extracted oil with potential pharmaceutical applications.

Lactips is a French SME which designs, develops and manufactures an eco-friendly plastic raw material. The water soluble and biodegradable thermoplastic pellets are based on milk protein. To ensure the sustainability of their products, Lactips is currently setting up a new recycling industry for milk that is unfit for human consumption but has perfect properties for non-edible applications.

Agricultural or Green Biotech Category

Phytowelt GreenTechnologies is a German SME that uses innovative plant-breeding to enable the regional production of renewable resources. Phytowelt GreenTechnologies uses sucrose as substrate to make raspberry fragrance in high quantity and quality using minimal energy, which helps meet the growing consumer demands in the perfume, food and cosmetic markets.

Alkol Biotech is a young green biotech SME that started three years ago and focusses on the development of new plant varieties able to grow in colder and drier climates offering better resistance to pests and diseases and higher productivities in order to meet the needs of the bio-based markets. This year, Alkol signed a letter of intent for the sourcing of up to 500,000 tonnes of non-woody lignocellulosic biomass to what would be Europe’s largest biorefinery.