About

Showcasing achievement and success in the UK and European healthcare, biotech, pharmaceutical and life sciences sectors

The European Mediscience Awards is now in its 20th year, having been held every year since inception in 2002*. The event is the largest annual gathering of private and publicly quoted healthcare, biotech and life sciences companies in Europe. Bringing together the best of European mediscience companies to celebrate achievement and recognise success, it is the must-attend event for anybody working in this sector. 

Each year sees the attendance of over 500 quoted and private UK and European life sciences companies and their corporate advisers, analysts, fund managers, commentators and peers. The event is sold out from one year to the next.

The European Mediscience Awards 2021 will take place on Tuesday 16 November at The Brewery, London EC1, subject to government guidelines.

*with the exception of 2020 when we were unable to hold a live event due to COVID-19, but instead held a successful digital campaign.  

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Sponsors

Awards

covering the period 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021

The shortlist is announced  

View shortlist

Click on each award to view more information

BEST COMMUNICATION AWARD

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BREAKTHROUGH OF THE YEAR AWARD

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BEST TECHNOLOGY AWARD

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THE EMERGING STAR AWARD

Sponsored by:

MEDISCIENCE COMMENTATOR OF THE YEAR AWARD

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CAPITAL MARKET TRANSACTION OF THE YEAR AWARD

Sponsored by:

MOST SIGNIFICANT CONTRIBUTION TO THE MEDISCIENCE SECTOR AWARD

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BEST NEWCOMER AWARD

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CHIEF EXECUTIVE OF THE YEAR AWARD

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COMPANY OF THE YEAR AWARD

Sponsored by:

Previous winners

 

Shortlist review

Read more about this year’s shortlisted companies by selecting an award below.

Best Communication Award

sponsored by Optimum Strategic Communications.

 
The 2021 shortlist:


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Calliditas Therapeutics AB

Stockholm-based Calliditas Therapeutics focuses on the development and commercialisation of a product candidate called Nefecon, for the treatment of renal disease, IgA nephropathy. This is a serious autoimmune, progressive disease and orphan indication with no available treatment. 

Calliditas is  focused on raising awareness of IgAN and, during the period, used its Capital Markets Day and Key Opinion Leaders events to educate current and new investors about its asset and equity story. The events were also utilised by the management team to provide corporate updates and share data from the global Phase 3 NefIgArd trial.

Calliditas increased its social media presence in 2020, using its platforms to engage and educate investor audiences (in addition to the general public) about this orphan disease.  The group’s recent IPO on NASDDAQ significantly increased analyst coverage and engagement with shareholders both in Europe and US.


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Ergomed plc 

Surrey-based Ergomed is dedicated to the provision of specialised services to the global pharmaceutical industry and the development of new drugs. The group enables its clients to access solutions for their toughest clinical development and trial management challenges from early phase to complex late-stage programmes. 

During the period, Ergomed implemented a number of critical business developments, which were clearly communicated to key stakeholders and subsequently reinforced the group’s position in the eyes of the media, analysts and investors. 

Ergomed increased its attendance on analyst calls, along with increasing its retail investor media engagements, and as a consequence, became a “must cover” stock due to significant investor interest. The group hosted free, educational webinars throughout the year and the successful communication of its strategy helped boost Ergomed’s media coverage. 


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Spire Healthcare Group plc 

London-based Spire Healthcare is a leading independent hospital group. It provides diagnostics, in-patient, day case and out-patient care in areas including orthopaedics, gynaecology, cardiology, neurology, oncology and general surgery. Spire’s hospitals delivered tailored, personalised care to almost 750,000 in-patients and day-case patients in 2020.

Spire Healthcare was at the frontline of the pandemic during 2020, supporting public health organisations and playing a critical role. The nature of the group’s business shifted considerably and its operational arrangements with the NHS were adapted, which was excellently communicated to stakeholders, despite the challenging backdrop.

The group’s investor comms, such as it’s Annual Report, made good use of engaging case studies to communicate Spire’s key purpose and strategy and its website content is always detailed and informative. 


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UDG Healthcare plc 

Dublin-based UDG Healthcare is a global leader in healthcare advisory, communications, commercial, clinical and packaging services. The group’s values-based culture and diverse business model have created a sustainable organisation that benefits all stakeholders.

UDG is a consistently strong performer in the investor communication category, and, true to form, demonstrated high levels of commitment to investor communication during the period. The group maintained its proactive approach with its full range of stakeholders by providing detailed communication around its M&A, in addition to launching a dedicated Covid-19 Response Centre section on its website to keep investors up to date. 

UDG’s governance reporting sets it apart from its competitors by highlighting how the board monitors culture and engages with stakeholders. The group’s clearly defined strategy roadmap is consistently presented across its website and Annual Report.


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Valneva SE

Based in France, Valneva is a specialty vaccine company focused on the development and commercialisation of prophylactic vaccines for infectious diseases. The group has several vaccines in development, including unique vaccines against Lyme disease, COVID-19 and chikungunya (a mosquito-borne viral disease).

Last year was a transformational one for Valneva, with the group achieving several major milestones and reinforcing confidence with investors and stakeholders. Valneva maintained consistent dialogue with stakeholders by attending events and utilising all investor channels.

Valneva’s website has an abundance of videos and webcasts in the investor section, including several presented by the CEO. The group makes good use of social media channels and its Annual Report is engaging and informative. 


Vectura Group plc

Wiltshire-based Vectura is a leading inhalation specialist. The group’s combination of formulation science, device technology and inhaled development expertise has contributed to the success of thirteen inhaled medicines being launched by its partners and licensees. 

2020 was a year of significant progress for Vectura, with the group signing eighteen new contracts under its inhalation contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) strategy. Vectura transformed many of its core business processes during the period and continued the cultural adjustment required to succeed as a CDMO, which was communicated clearly to stakeholders. 

The group has a stand-out Annual Report with an engaging risk and governance section. The website includes an ESG microsite which brings the group’s new ESG strategy to life. 

Historically the strategy at Vectura has been unclear from a market perspective, but the "new" management team and the transformation they have enabled has added clarity and certainty for the future.

Breakthrough of the Year Award

sponsored by FTI Consulting

 
The 2021 shortlist:


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Amryt Pharma plc 

UK-based Amryt is a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing and delivering innovative new treatments to help patients with rare and orphan diseases. The group comprises a growing commercial business and a significant development pipeline.

In September 2020 Amryt announced positive top line results from its pivotal Phase III ‘EASE’ trial of FILSUVEZ® in Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB) patients. EB is a rare, chronic and distressing genetic skin disorder that causes the skin layers and internal body linings to separate and affects infants, children and adults.

The EASE trial was the largest ever global Phase 3 trial conducted in patients with EB and was performed across 58 sites in 28 countries. 223 patients were enrolled into the trial including 156 paediatric patients, which comprised a three-month double-blind randomised controlled phase followed by a twenty-four month open-label, single-arm phase. If approved, FILSUVEZ® will be the very first treatment for EB patients and a significant milestone for Amryt.


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argenX SE

Dutch company argenX is a global immunology company committed to improving the lives of people suffering from severe autoimmune diseases and cancer. The name argenx comes from the ancient myth of the Argonauts, one of the first stories on record recognising the power of the team rather than one hero.

In May 2020, argenx announced positive topline data from the pivotal ADAPT trial of efgartigimod. ADAPT met its primary endpoint, defined as percentage of responders on the Myasthenia Gravis Activities of Daily Living (MG-ADL) score, among acetylcholine receptor-antibody positive (AChR-Ab+) generalized myasthenia gravis (gMG) patients. Myasthenia gravis (MG) is a long-term neuromuscular disease that leads to varying degrees of skeletal muscle weakness.

The group recently announced the acceptance for review of the BLA and J-MAA for efgartigimod in gMG by the regulatory agencies in the US and Japan. The submissions in China and the EU are on track, making argenX well-positioned for a global launch of its FcRn antagonist.


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BioNTech SE 

Based in Germany, BioNTech is a next generation immunotherapy company. The group’s broad portfolio of oncology product candidates includes individualized and off-the-shelf mRNA-based therapies, innovative chimeric antigen receptor T cells, bi-specific checkpoint immuno-modulators, targeted cancer antibodies and small molecules.

BioNTech’s collaboration with Pfizer is built on the 2018 agreement to jointly develop an mRNA-based influenza vaccine. It then aimed to rapidly advance multiple COVID-19 vaccine candidates into human clinical testing based on BioNTech’s proprietary mRNA vaccine platforms, with the objective of ensuring rapid worldwide access to the vaccine. The collaboration leveraged Pfizer’s broad expertise in vaccine research and development, regulatory capabilities, and global manufacturing and distribution network.

During the clinical development stage, BioNTech and its partners provided clinical supply of the vaccine from its GMP-certified mRNA manufacturing facilities in Europe. BioNTech and Pfizer worked together to scale-up manufacturing capacity, at risk, to provide worldwide supply in response to the pandemic.

BioNTech efforts to accelerate the rapid development of the vaccine was aptly named “Project Lightspeed” and will be remembered for years to come as a remarkable scientific and historical achievement. 


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Calliditas Therapeutics AB 

Based in Sweden, Calliditas is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on identifying, developing and commercialising novel treatments in orphan indications, with an initial focus on renal and hepatic diseases with significant unmet needs.

In March this year, Calliditas announced the submission of its new drug application to the US FDA for Nefecon in patients with primary IgA Nephropathy (IgAN). IgAN is a progressive, chronic disease that results in deterioration of kidney function in patients, many of whom end up at risk of developing end-stage renal disease (ESRD), with the need for dialysis or kidney transplant.

This is the first time a drug specifically designed for IgAN is being submitted for approval to the FDA. The drug had successful results following the group’s pivotal Phase III trial and large Phase IIb trial, which met both the primary and key secondary endpoints. This potentially disease modifying effect is unique to Nefecon, making it a breakthrough development in treatments for those living with this indication, in addition to being a significant milestone for Calliditas. The group is currently applying for accelerated approval for Nefecon.


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Diurnal Group plc 

Diurnal is a UK-headquartered, European specialty pharma company developing hormone therapeutics for the global market for the life-long treatment of chronic endocrine conditions.

Diurnal experienced multiple endocrine franchise breakthroughs during the period. In September 2020 the group received US FDA approval for Alkindi Sprinkle as replacement therapy in paediatric patients with adrenocortical insufficiency. Adrenocortical insufficiency is a disorder that occurs when the body doesn't produce enough of certain hormones. Alkindi also received approvals in Israel and Australia.

In March 2021, the EMA announced a positive opinion on granting a marketing approval for Efmody, which is Diurnal’s formulation for controlled release hydrocortisone (developed under the name Chronocort) for the treatment of adults and adolescents aged 12 and over with congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH). CAH refers to a group of genetic disorders that affect the adrenal glands. Formal approval is set for June 2021 and Diurnal expects to begin commercialisation in the later part of 2021.


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Synairgen plc 

Synairgen is a drug discovery and development company founded by professors at the University of Southampton. The business, focused primarily on COVID-19, severe asthma and COPD, discovers and develops novel therapies for respiratory disease. 

Last year was significant year for Synairgen. Since its foundation in 2003, the group had focused on developing inhaled interferon beta for respiratory disorders, however Synairgen very quickly adapted to COVID-19 and was one of the first movers in the UK to begin clinical trials.

In July 2020, Synairgen announced positive results from its Phase II double-blind placebo-controlled trial of inhaled interferon beta, SNG001, in hospitalised COVID-19 patients. Odds for improvement, recovery and hospital discharge were in favour of the drug at the end of the dosing period.

In addition, Synairgen expanded the Phase II trial into home patients in May using an innovative approach of delivering the drug to participant’s houses remotely. Inhaled Interferon Beta was then included in US NIH government-funded ACTIV-2 trial in COVID-19 outpatients in January 2021, with first dosing in February.

Lastly, dosing commenced in Synairgen’s international Phase III trial in January 2021. The study is randomized and placebo-controlled, conducted in up to 20 countries enrolling a total of 610 COVID-19 patients who require supplemental oxygen.


Best Technology Award

sponsored by MC Services AG

 
The 2021 shortlist:


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Avacta Group plc 

Avacta Life Sciences has two divisions; therapeutics and diagnostics. The group’s therapeutics division is based in Cambridge and develops novel cancer immunotherapies combining its two proprietary platforms; its diagnostics division, based in Leeds, utilises its proprietary Affimer ® platform to develop high performing diagnostics. 

Avacta’s Affimer platform is a novel class of biotherapeutic based on a naturally occurring human protein. The group’s Affimer® proteins are a more stable alternative to antibodies that are ideal for use in both diagnostic and therapeutic applications, offering significant competitive advantages including size, stability, versatility, rapid development and ease of production.

The groups' Affimer® technology, used in the AffiDX™ SARS-CoV-2 Lateral Flow Rapid Antigen Test, binds to the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, therefore allowing for incredible sensitivity and specificity. Laboratory tests suggest that this could be the most sensitive spike antigen test so far available, which is in part due to the unique traits of Avacta’s Affimer® Technology.


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BioNTech SE 

Based in Germany, BioNTech was founded in 2008 on the understanding that every cancer patient’s tumour is unique and therefore each patient’s treatment should be individualised. To translate this into reality, the group combined ground-breaking research with cutting-edge technologies to develop pioneering therapeutics for cancer and beyond.

BioNTech has vast experience with RNA, and its deep and broad expertise in the targeted delivery of mRNA therapeutics is one of the group’s key strengths. The group has notably developed a COVID-19 vaccine, based on mRNA technology, which works by stimulating the body’s own immune response. 

mRNA vaccines against COVID-19 are designed to provide our bodies with the code to produce the non-infectious virus spike protein to instruct the cell’s machinery to help stimulate a natural immune response. This response is achieved primarily through T-cells and the production of neutralizing antibodies, which aim to prevent SARS-CoV-2 infection (and its associated disease, COVID-19). If a vaccinated person comes into contact with SARS-CoV-2, the immune system will recognise the surface structure and can combat and eliminate the virus. 

BioNTech's mRNA vaccine technology enabled rapid development and short manufacturing cycles, which was critical in getting a COVID-19 vaccine to market. 


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CureVac BV 

Frankfurt-based CureVac was officially founded in 2000 and is pioneering the development of a completely new class of drugs based on the messenger RNA (mRNA). The group is the world’s first company to successfully harness mRNA for medical purposes. 

CureVac’s founder made an unexpected discovery that, when administered directly into tissue, the historically unstable biomolecule mRNA could be used as a therapeutic vaccine or agent after optimization. With a single discovery, CureVac opened the world up to the potential of mRNA to treat diseases and create vaccines.

CureVac’s mRNA technology instructs the human body to activate its own defence mechanism. The group developed a COVID-19 vaccine candidate, CVnCoV, that programmes the mRNA to serve as the instruction manual for the production of the spike protein, a key protein for the COVID-19 vaccine development. After receiving the vaccine, the body recognizes the protein as something potentially hostile and activates the immune system to produce antibodies and T cells to fight against it. 

As of April 2021, CureVac’s vaccine candidate is in Phase III clinical trials. 


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MaxCyte Inc. 

Headquartered in the US, MaxCyte is a leading provider of cell-engineering platform technologies. The group provides its patented, high-performance cell-engineering platform to biopharmaceutical partners engaged in drug discovery and development, biomanufacturing and cell therapy, including gene editing and immuno-oncology.

In April 2020, MaxCyte launched its new ExPERT™ technology platform. This family of instruments, the ATx, STx and GTx, represent the next generation of the industry’s leading, clinically validated Flow Electroporation® technology for complex cellular engineering.

The ExPERT instrument family is the result of extensive customer research into feature design, functionality and performance that are considered critical to enabling the next generation of cellular therapies. MaxCyte’s Flow Electroporation Technology enables its biopharmaceutical partners to advance the development of innovative medicines, particularly in cell therapy. The groups high performance technology can assist the industry in accelerating timelines, reducing costs and achieving milestones that are critical to this promising new generation of cellular therapies.


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Oxford BioMedica plc 

Oxford BioMedica is a prior winner and a regular on the shortlist for the Best Technology Award, thanks to its world leading LentiVector® platform. The commercial and clinical value of its platform has been consistently proven with partner programmes more than doubling (from 9 to 19) in the period.

Further validation of Oxford BioMedica’s technology came last year after AstraZeneca chose the group as a key vector manufacturing partner for the COVID-19 vaccine. The group joined the Oxford Vaccine Consortium in April 2002 and shortly afterwards signed the first of two agreements with AstraZeneca for COVID-19 vaccine production. By October 2020, Oxford BioMedica had four manufacturing suites approved by the MHRA, which are helping deliver the biggest inoculation programme in British history.

Oxford BioMedica’s LentiVector technology underpins the company's strategy. The platform has been successful for both ex vivo and in vivo treatment, and works to enable the breakthrough of gene and cell-based medicines. The group is consistently working towards reducing the cost and industrialisation of lentivectors, enabling them to be used with larger indications in the future and ultimately reducing the total cost of gene and cell therapies. 


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PureTech Health plc 

US-based PureTech Health is a biotherapeutics company dedicated to discovering, developing and commercialising differentiated medicines for devastating diseases, including inflammatory, fibrotic and immunological conditions, intractable cancers, lymphatic and gastrointestinal diseases and neurological and neuropsychological disorders, among others. 

In June 2020, the US FDA permitted marketing of the first game-based digital therapeutic device, EndeavorRx, to improve attention function in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). This is a significant milestone as it represents an entirely new class of medicine for children and its clearance creates a new class of digital therapeutics. 

EndeavorRx is designed to directly target and activate neural systems through the delivery of a captivating game experience, which subsequently improves cognitive functioning. PureTech has made history by creating a digital therapeutic device that uses technology to directly target neurological function in a way that feels like entertainment.

EndeavorRx also received CE mark clearance in Europe in June 2020.

The Emerging Star Award

sponsored by Numis 

 
The 2021 shortlist:


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Arecor Ltd

Cambridge-based Arecor is a biopharmaceutical company transforming patient care by bringing innovative medicines to market. The group uses its Arestat™ technology to develop a broad portfolio of therapies through its proprietary pipeline and through partnerships with leading pharmaceutical and biotech companies. 

Arecor’s product portfolio currently includes novel insulin formulations to deliver an ultra-rapid acting insulin (AT247), and an ultra-concentrated rapid acting insulin (AT278) for the treatment of diabetes, which remains a significant and growing health problem throughout the world. This novel proprietary formulation of insulin has been designed to accelerate insulin absorption, post injection, to achieve more effective and controlled management of blood glucose levels.

In March this year, Arecor was awarded a £2.8m grant from Innovate UK to support the Phase II development of AT247 based on its Arestat ™ technology platform. The group’s vision of ‘advancing today’s therapies to enable healthier lives’ has turned Arecor into a trailblazing go-to company for formulation solutions.


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Artios Pharma Ltd

Cambridge-based Artios Pharma was first recognised as an Emerging Star at last year’s European Mediscience Awards. Since its inception in 2016, Artios has grown into a leading DNA Damage Response (DDR) company with an exciting pipeline of assets, and a world class R&D team with a strong track record in translating DDR projects from research to the clinic.

The last 12 months have been transformational for Artios, with multi-billion dollar pharma partnerships and its lead compound moving into clinical development. Artios is focused on discovering and developing new precision medicines for treating cancers and targeting DDR has become a major strategy for achieving this. 

Validation of the group’s world-leading DDR programmes came via a strategic collaboration with Merck, which will see Artios receiving up to $860m total milestones per target, totalling a record-breaking $6bn for preclinical assets. This is in addition to the group’s global research collaboration with Swiss pharma giant Novartis, which will enable Artios to receive up to $1.3bn in development, regulatory and sales-based milestones.


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Callaly

London-based Callaly is a British femcare start-up and the inventor of the Tampliner®, which is the first significant innovation to tampons in 80 years. The group was co-founded by a gynaecologist, who had listened to thousands of women talk about their frustrations with femcare and, as a result, he helped create a higher quality and more convenient option.

The Callaly team spent a decade developing the Tampliner® and acquiring patent families across 85% of the global market, before subsequently soft-launching the product in 2018. The Tampliner® was the first patented product to completely rethink how a tampon could work and has received multiple industry innovation awards. 

Callaly was also the first UK-based femcare brand to be awarded B Corp status, with part of its profits helping to improve quality of life and access to healthcare for women around the world.


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eTheRNA

Belgium-based eTheRNA immunotherapies is developing first in class mRNA immunotherapies for the treatment of cancer and infectious diseases. The group was founded in 2013 and is supported by an international group of specialised investors who share eTheRNA’s ambition to build a world-leading company in the RNA field.

eTheRNA has taken its innovative mRNA technology to new heights during the period, against a backdrop of huge progression of mRNA vaccines for COVID-19. The group has received numerous grants, including a research grant for its novel cancer vaccine collaboration.

In June 2020, following its proprietary mRNA TriMix technology providing unprecedented immune responses, eTheRNA raised €34m in a Series B financing, which was used to advance its oncology and infectious diseases pipeline, including a new SARS-CoV-2 program. eTheRNA is now applying its vaccination technology platform to elicit anti-tumour T-cell responses by employing its clinically validated TriMix mRNA platform.


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Evox Therapeutics 

Evox Therapeutics is an Oxford-based biotechnology company focused on improving the natural delivery capabilities of exosomes and developing an entirely new class of therapeutics. The group was founded in 2016 based on ground-breaking research performed at the University Oxford and the Karolinska Institute. 

Evox has created a substantial proprietary technology, known as DeliverEX, to modify exosomes and deliver drugs to areas that are currently inaccessible, including delivery into new tissues e.g. the cell cytoplasm or across the blood brain barrier. The group made significant progress during the period, raising £69m in an oversubscribed Series C financing round to support the advancement of its therapeutics pipeline and the continued development of DeliverEX.  

In June 2020, Evox announced a significant multi-target research collaboration and license agreement with Eli Lilly to develop and deliver RNA interference and antisense oligonucleotide drug payloads for the potential treatment of neurological disorders. This deal, worth up to $1.2bn, provides further validation of Evox’s platform and highlights the breadth of opportunity that exists with exosome-based drugs.


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IO biotech

Based in Denmark, IO Biotech is a clinical stage biotech company developing disruptive immune therapies for the treatment of cancer. The group’s pipeline of first-in-class immune modulating anti-cancer therapies is developed by a unique technology platform, T-win®, enabling the activation of T cells that are specific for immune-suppressive molecules.

In December 2002, the FDA granted IO Biotech's lead immuno-oncology candidates with breakthrough therapy designation for patients with unresectable or metastatic melanoma. Shortly following this, in January 2021, the group raised €127m in an oversubscribed Series B financing, which was one of the largest private financings in Europe.

IO Biotech intends to use the net proceeds of the transaction towards the funding of clinical trials for its early and late-stage immuno-oncology programs, including a large, randomised trial for IO102 and IO103 with anti-PD-1 monoclonal antibodies in metastatic melanoma.


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Nanoform Finland plc 

Nanoform is a nanoparticle medicine enabling company, based in Finland. The group’s patented and scalable Controlled Expansion of Supercritical Solutions (CESS) technology produces nanoformed API particles. Implementing CESS offers new technological and business advantages for the pharmaceutical industry.

Nanoform focuses on reducing clinical attrition and on enhancing drug molecules’ performance through its nanoforming technologies and formulation services. The group’s capabilities include GMP manufacturing, and its services span the small to large molecule development space, with a focus on solving key issues in drug solubility and bioavailability and on enabling novel drug delivery applications. 

Validation of Nanoform’s technology came via the group’s IPO in June 2020, which was significantly oversubscribed. A recent announcement, just outside the period under review in May 2021, revealed the completion and final results of Nanoform’s clinical study, which support the group’s technology and its potential applicability for producing fast-acting dosage forms for poorly soluble drugs.


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Prilenia Therapeutics B.V.

Netherlands-based Prilenia is a clinical stage biotech company focused on developing novel treatments for neurodegenerative and neurodevelopmental disorders. The group is led by Michael Hayden, a world-renowned scientist in Huntington Disease research. 

In June 2020, Prilenia raised $62.5m in a Series A financing round to launch its planned HD and ALS late-stage clinical trials. HD (Huntington’s disease) is one of the most devastating neurodegenerative disorders, impacting not only patients but also their families. It is an inherited disease and currently there is no treatment available to slow its progression. ALS, also known as Motor Neuron Disease, is a chronic progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects about 350,000 people worldwide. 

The company’s lead asset, Pridopidine, is a highly selective sigma-1 receptor (S1R) agonist with an established safety profile and potential in multiple movement disorders and neurodegenerative diseases affecting adults and children. It has been shown to maintain functional capacity in early HD patients and was recently selected in the first ever ALS platform trial. Pridopidine is currently in late-stage clinical development for both HD and ALS. 


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Sanifit Therapeutics S.A. 

Sanifit is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on treatments for progressive vascular calcification disorders, with offices in Spain and the US. The group’s clinical development is focused on two indications in End Stage Kidney Disease (ESKD) patients; calciphylaxis and peripheral artery disease (PAD).

Sanifit's lead compound, SNF472, made significant progress over the year and was granted Orphan Drug Designation for the treatment of PAD in patients with ESKD. There are over 3 million people globally affected by ESKD who currently receive dialysis to stay alive and they have up to 30 times higher risk of death due to cardiovascular diseases than the general population. 

Sanifit has published data showing that SNF472 significantly reduced progression of cardiovascular calcification in patients with ESKD receiving haemodialysis, making it the only company that has developed a drug directly addressing the build-up of calcium in the cardiovascular system.

The group has raised $140m to date and received strong support from investors in Spain and internationally. Its most recent fundraise totalled €72.2m and was Spain’s largest private biotech fundraise. 


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Verici Dx plc

US based Verici Dx is a developer of advanced clinical diagnostics in organ transplant. The group is developing and commercialising tests to understand how a patient will and is responding to organ transplant, with an initial focus on kidney transplants. The group is a spinout of another AIM listed medtech firm, Renalytix, which itself is a spinout of point of care diagnostics and AIM listed, EKF Diagnostics,

Verici’s products and solutions are underpinned by extensive scientific research into the recipient’s immune phenotype and how that impacts on acute rejection, chronic injury and ultimately failure of the transplant. 

Globally, 300,000 persons are awaiting a kidney transplant and annually, around 95,000 kidney transplants are performed, falling far short of the need. Once a transplant is received, there is an ongoing risk of rejection, with long term graft failure rates between 37-50%. The Verici Dx suite of assays use advanced next-generation transcriptomic immune-phenotyping coupled with AI techniques to create a more personalised assessment of rejection risk and provide physicians with valuable and actionable insights.

Verici Dx was admitted to AIM in November 2020 upon raising £14.5m. The fundraising was significantly oversubscribed across all components and is being used to initiate a global clinical trial for assay validation with a clear pathway to commercialisation.

Mediscience Commentator of the Year Award

sponsored by Instinctif Partners

 
The 2021 shortlist:


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John Carroll/Endpoints News 

A staple on the shortlist for Mediscience Commentator of the Year for many years, John Carrol is Founder of Endpoints News. Endpoints is an independent news organisation, reporting and analysing the top global biotech and pharmaceutical R&D news of the day. The group produces original editorial, on a daily basis, on business deals, buyouts and corporate reorganisations to FDA actions and the latest clinical data on some of the world’s most closely watched drugs. 

John started Endpoints News with a staff of only four, and has grown it to a team of twelve, with a global readership of over 105,000. He has covered biopharma for the past 15 years and established Endpoints as an essential daily read. John’s commentary on the sector is comprehensive, insightful and timely.

John is a biotech analyst and writer with decades of prize-winning experience in journalism. Prior to Endpoints, John was the Editor at FierceBiotech for thirteen years. In addition to his editing roles, John has been a regular speaker at biotech events around the globe. He has been quoted by The New York Times, The New Yorker, Financial Times, and The Times, to name a few, and has keynoted at biotech gatherings around the world and addressed student audiences at MIT and Harvard.

John is prolific user of social media and currently has over 56,000 followers. 


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Fierce Biotech 

Fierce Biotech is a free daily email newsletter for the biopharma community. The newsletter keeps industry leaders up to speed on the latest news on biotech companies, drug discovery and development, venture capital, and more. Fierce Biotech is part of the Fierce Markets group, which is published by Questex. 

Biopharma is a fast-growing world where big ideas come along daily, therefore there is no shortage of news on which Fierce Biotech can provide analysis, comment and data on drugs and the companies that make them. Fierce Biotech covers the biopharma waterfront, from drug development through the entire lifecycle—tracking regulatory approvals, payer negotiations, manufacturing, marketing, patent fights, government investigations and regulation, M&A deals and beyond. 

Fierce Biotech aim is to analyse the day's news, showing readers not only what they need to know, but why they need to know it. 


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FT Health Team 

FT Health is a monthly guide to the big issues at the intersection of global health and finance. The newsletter provides original news, interviews and data and showcases the best health journalism from the FT and beyond. 

The FT Health Team had one of the toughest reporting jobs in history during the pandemic, however they strived to report in a balanced way with a critical eye. The team grew whilst reporting on COVID-19 as they were covering the story on a global basis. The FT Health Team reported on science, data and manufacturing across vaccines, treatments and diagnostics, and more latterly, the longer-term implications of COVID. The newsletter’s COVID-19 tracker is a notably useful resource, widely used for analysing the scale of outbreaks and tracking vaccine rollouts around the world. 

Aside from the pandemic, the Healthcare team is a fundamental part of the FT, with Clive Cookson heading up Science and Sarah Neville covering healthcare. More recently, the team have been joined by Hannah Kuchler, who has extended her brief to Global Pharma correspondent, and Donato Mancini who is covering the European Pharma market. They have been an essential read during the COVID-19 crisis.


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Natasha Loder/The Economist 

Natasha Loder works in print, radio, and film at The Economist. She is currently The Economist’s Health Policy Editor and covers everything from science to space, technology, the environment, education, policy, and politics. The Economist is one of the most widely recognised and well-read current affairs publications, with a growing global circulation of around 1.5m readers and a reputation for incisive analysis and opinion on every aspect of world events.

Natasha has a long background of reporting on disease outbreaks such as H1N1, SARS, and Ebola, and reported on the front line of the coronavirus pandemic, covering its origins and the vaccines that are offering an exit strategy. Natasha prides herself on her ability to turn dry science into thrilling stories, and on bringing her passion and enthusiasm for her subjects to a wider audience, something witnessed via her presenter role on the coronavirus and vaccine podcast, The Jab. Natasha’s commentary is widely sought by broadcast media.

Prior to joining The Economist, Natasha worked at Nature, The Times Higher Education Supplement, and Research Fortnight. She has won many awards for her work in news, features and opinion. In 2018, Natasha’s long feature about progress in cancer treatment won awards from the June L. Biedler Prize for Cancer Journalism, and the Medical Journalism Association. 


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Derek Lowe 

Based in the US, Derek Lowe has been a freelance writer and blogger since 2007. His blog, named 'In the Pipeline', comments on the drug discovery and pharma industry and is an editorially independent blog from the publishers of Science Translational Medicine. The blog is quoted in Forbes, Fortune, the Wall Street Journal, to name a few.

Derek was a medicinal chemist working on preclinical drug discovery in the pharmaceutical industry. Derek first began publishing his ‘In the Pipeline’ blog about his field in 2002, and he is one of the first people to blog from inside the pharmaceutical industry. He is a proactive commentator who provides thought provoking pieces, in addition to offering a genuine insight into the drug development process and considerations in drugs often unseen. Derek is cited as one of the very few “must follow” journalists in the arena.

Derek has worked for several major pharmaceutical companies since 1989, including Vertex, Bayer and Schering-Plough as a medicinal chemistry lab head, project leader, and specialist in new drug discovery projects against schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, osteoporosis and other diseases.


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Sabah Meddings/The Sunday Times

Sabah, Senior Business Reporter for the Sunday Times, has been shortlisted for the Mediscience Commentator of the Year Award for the past two years due to her informative coverage of the sector in one of the most competitive newsrooms around. The Sunday Times has acquired a reputation for the strength of its investigative reporting and for its wide-ranging foreign coverage. It was Britain's first multi-section newspaper and remains substantially larger than its rivals. 

Sabah reports on some of the biggest stories breaking in the pharmaceuticals and Life Sciences industries and is noted for her lively and informative commentary. Her work has included analysis of the strategy of large pharma, along with trends driving development, funding and innovation in smaller companies and university spin outs. Sabah is an ambassador of the Life Sciences sector and, through her coverage, she has made it accessible to a general audience. 

Prior to the Sunday Times, Sabah was a City Correspondent at the Daily Mail, where she wrote across all sectors. 

Capital Market Transaction of the Year Award

sponsored by SP Angel

 
The 2021 shortlist:


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argenx SE 

argenx is a global immunology company committed to improving the lives of people suffering from severe autoimmune diseases and cancer. The group aims to translate immunology breakthroughs into a world-class portfolio of novel antibody-based medicines by partnering with leading academic researchers through its Immunology Innovation Program (IIP).

In February 2021, argenx raised $1bn in gross proceeds in an oversubscribed global offering, dwarfing other fundraises in the biotech sector and making it one of the largest transactions in Europe. The transaction swiftly followed announcement of the group’s phase III trial results for its lead candidate antibody drug, efgartigimod, which showed to improve motor symptoms of patients with the chronic autoimmune disease myasthenia gravis. 

As a result of the positive trial results, argenx’s share price rose more than 30%; the group intends to use part of the funds raised for the commercial launch of efgartigimod later this year, in addition to running clinical trials of its lead candidate in other indications such as primary immune thrombocytopenia. 


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Kiadis Pharma NV 

Kiadis is committed to developing innovative cell-based medicines for patients with life-threatening diseases. With headquarters in Amsterdam, and offices and activities across the United States, Kiadis is re-imagining medicine by leveraging the natural strengths of humanity and the collective immune system to source the best cells for life.

In April 2021, Kiadis was acquired by Sanofi in a deal worth €308m. The offer price represented a premium of 272% over the closing price and will enable Kiadis’ NK cell-based medicines to be developed alone and in combination with Sanofi’s existing platforms.

Kiadis’ proprietary platform is based on allogeneic or ‘off-the-shelf’ NK-cells from a healthy donor. NK-cells seek and identify malignant cancer cells and have broad application across various tumor types. The platform has the potential to make products rapidly and economically available for a broad patient population across a wide range of liquid and solid tumours, which creates synergies with Sanofi’s immuno-oncology pipeline.


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MaxCyte Inc.

MaxCyte is driving a new generation of cell-based therapies, particularly in gene editing and immune-oncology. The group has developed CARMA®, a novel and proprietary technology for the development of non-viral, mRNA-based cell therapies, which enables highly efficient, non-viral, delivery of one or more mRNA into unstimulated immune cells.

In February 2021, MaxCyte raised £40m from new and existing investors. The funds raised will be used to support the group’s “burgeoning field” of next-generation cell therapeutic development via its best-in-class cell engineering approaches.

MaxCyte’s fundraise is significant because it helps pave the way forward for its upcoming dual-listing on Nasdaq by introducing new crossover investors to its share register. The subscription followed an earlier $30.5m financing in May 2020, led by premier life science specialist Nasdaq crossover investors, Casdin Capital, LLC and Sofinnova Partners.


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Redx Pharma plc 

Redx is focused on the discovery and development of novel targeted medicines for the treatment of cancer and fibrotic disease, aiming to progress them to clinical proof of concept. The group’s team of around 50 scientists are based at its labs at Alderley Park in Cheshire, which is the UK’s largest single site life science campus.

In August 2020, AstraZeneca bought an exclusive global licence to develop and market Redx’s RXC006, a treatment for fibrotic diseases. The transaction will see Redx receive up to $17m in early payments, in addition to a further $360m in development and commercial milestones, plus tiered royalties.

Redx is the only London-listed company targeting porcupine inhibitors. The deal was secured due to the drug’s novel approach to fibrosis and its strong preclinical data. This significant transaction for Redx by pharmaceutical giant Astrazeneca comes only three years after Redx entered, and swiftly exited, administration.


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Synairgen plc 

Synaigen uses in vitro and ex vivo models to progress opportunities into clinical development leveraging its scientific and clinical facilities at Southampton General Hospital. The group’s differentiating human biology BioBank platform of human tissue samples is used in these models to increase confidence in the likelihood of successful drug development.

In October 2020, Synairgen raised £80m through a private placement, as well as an open offer of up to £7m, to support the Phase III clinical development of its anti-viral drug, SNG001, for COVID-19. The drug was in a Phase II study of hospitalised Covid patients in the UK and the fundraise enabled the initiation of a Phase III trial in 20 countries, which commenced in January 2021.

Synairgen’s fundraise will also be used to scale up its supply chain and manufacturing capacity for this product, with the target of producing 100,000 treatment courses per month, helping the group play a potentially important role in the fight against COVID-19.


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Verona Pharma plc 

Verona Pharma is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercialising innovative therapies for the treatment of respiratory diseases. If successfully developed and approved, the group’s product candidate, ensifentrine, has the potential to be the first therapy for the treatment of respiratory diseases that combines bronchodilator and anti-inflammatory activities in one compound. 

In July 2020, Verona Pharma raised $200m in an oversubscribed private placement and share subscription from new institutional investors, in addition to its high quality existing investor base. The deal was one of the largest life science financings of 2020, at around four times the group’s market capitalisation at the time, making it an unprecedented transaction. The group’s share price on AIM soared by 118% as a result and Verona was also invited to ring the closing bell at the Nasdaq stock market in celebration. 

The financing enabled Verona to initiate its ENHANCE (Ensifentrine as a Novel inHAled Nebulized COPD thErapy) Phase III clinical program in September 2020, evaluating the efficacy and safety of nebulized ensifentrine in patients with moderate to severe COPD. The funds will also support ensifentrine through Phase III clinicals trials, in addition to supporting the group’s general operations into 2023.

Most Significant Contribution to the Mediscience Sector Award

sponsored by Covington

 
The 2021 shortlist:


AstraZeneca plc/Jenner Institute/
Oxford BioMedica plc/Vaccitech plc 

The head of the WHO’s department of immunisation, vaccines and biologicals, Professor Kate O’Brien, described the Oxford/Astrazeneca jab as “efficacious” and “an important vaccine for the world”.

The vaccine was created by Oxford University’s Jenner Institute and its spin-out company, Vaccitech, who jointly have the rights to the platform technology used to develop the vaccine candidate. In April 2020, an agreement was announced with global biotech, AstraZeneca, for the further development, large-scale manufacture and distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Under the agreement, AstraZeneca worked with global partners on the international distribution of the vaccine to make it available and accessible for low and medium income countries. Both partners also agreed to operate on a not-for-profit basis for the duration of the pandemic, with only the costs of production and distribution being covered. Oxford University and Vaccitech have not received any royalties from the vaccine during the pandemic, and indeed any royalties subsequently received will be reinvested directly back into medical research, including a new Pandemic Preparedness and Vaccine Research Centre. The centre is being developed in collaboration with AstraZeneca.

The speed with which the vaccine was created, approved and manufactured is nothing short of phenomenal and will be remembered for many, many years to come.


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Kate Bingham and Clive Dix/UK Vaccine Taskforce 

The UK government Vaccines Taskforce (VTF) was established to drive forward, expedite and co-ordinate efforts to ensure that the UK population would have access to a clinically safe and effective vaccine against COVID-19. No vaccine in the history of medicine has been as eagerly anticipated as that to protect against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2).

The VTF originated from Sir Patrick Vallance, the UK Government's chief scientific advisor, who identified the need for a dedicated, private-sector team of experts, embedded within Government, to drive forward the development of vaccines for both the UK and internationally. Kate Bingham was invited to chair the taskforce, reporting directly to the prime minister, and working alongside Deputy Chair, Clive Dix. They have been instrumental in securing the UK’s vaccine supply, which is further ahead than almost every other country in the world.

One of the major challenges faced was that the global manufacturing capacity for vaccines was infinitely inadequate for the billions of doses needed, therefore the VTF provided funding for flexible and surge production to provide the UK population with a new vaccine in less than nine months from the identification of the pathogen. This mass vaccination scheme, involving a two-dose regimen has never been undertaken anywhere in the world before and has been hailed as an indisputable triumph.


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Dr Ingmar Hoerr 

Dr Ingmar Hoerr is a German biologist. He pioneered vaccinology research concerning the use of RNA, and is a founder of the German biotechnology company, CureVac. Ingmar is known as the father of the technology used in RNA vaccines and has reportedly been nominated for a Nobel Prize. 

Ingmar founded “CureVac, the RNA people“, together with colleagues in Germany in 2000. His entrepreneurship was motivated by a surprising discovery during his doctoral research that revealed that naked mRNA is able to be expressed ‘in vivo’ without the risk of rapid degradation and has the ability to generate strong specific immune responses. This key discovery is contrary to what had previously been believed and subsequently Ingmar created an organisation that is now the most advanced company in the research and development of mRNA-based drugs. 

Ingmar triggered the first ever clinical human trials in the mRNA space and laid the foundation for the whole mRNA industry. mRNA-based drugs can potentially be developed for a huge variety of diseases and infections and its technology has enabled the design of multiple vaccine candidates against COVID-19, making it possible for the world to fight back against this highly infectious and dangerous virus.

Ingmar has just released a biography titled, The man who reinvented vaccination. This is only available in Germany currently. 


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Uğur Şahin and Özlem Türeci/BioNTech SE 

Uğur and Özlem are the husband and wife team that co-founded BioNTech. Uğur, CEO of BioNTech, is a physician, immunologist and leader in the development of novel approaches to fight cancer and infectious diseases and Özlem is the Chief Medical Officer at BioNTech, in addition to being a physician, immunologist, and cancer researcher with translational and clinical experience. 

The COVID-19 crisis gave Uğur and Özlem an opportunity to prove that mRNA technology could herald the revolution that they have been forecasting for 25 years. The couple are world leading experts on mRNA medicines and have pioneered several breakthroughs enabling the development of mRNA vaccines and other types of immunotherapies. 

Before Coronavirus had even arrived in Europe, Uğur and Özlem had initiated and were overseeing “Project Lightspeed,” the historic development of the first mRNA vaccine for COVID-19, moving from lab and clinical testing to conditional approval within an unprecedented 11-month period. The novel mRNA platform on which the vaccine is based injects genetic instructions into the body, which is a method never before used in a licensed pharmaceutical, and is an approach that had faced scepticism from the scientific community for decades. 

The couple’s historic achievement produced a breakthrough that has saved millions of lives and has offered humanity a route out of the COVID-19 pandemic.


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Andreas and Thomas Strüngmann 

Andreas and Thomas Strüengmann have been writing the history of the German pharmaceutical industry since 1979. With their €750m investment into emerging life science disciplines, the twin brothers have built a strong portfolio of biotechnology leaders, including AiCuris and BioNTech.

The Strüengmann’s have been on a long and successful journey in the healthcare sector, starting with co-founding Hexal in 1986. They later sold the generic drugmaker, (plus a stake in Eon Labs), to Novartis for some $7bn and have continued to fund breakthrough science and innovative biomedicines.

As the largest founding investors of BioNTech, the Strüengmann’s have enabled the development of mRNA technology, which has famously resulted in the novel vaccine against COVID-19 that is currently saving millions of lives. Without the Strüengmann’s early support and belief in mRNA technology, this critical, historical development would not have been possible.

Best Newcomer Award

sponsored by Bryan, Garnier & Co 

 
The 2021 shortlist:


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Hyloris Pharmaceuticals NV

Based in Belgium, Hyloris is an innovative specialty pharmaceutical company focused on adding value to the healthcare system by reformulating well-known pharmaceuticals. The group aims to reduce the clinical burden of bringing a product to market and to significantly shorten development timelines, as well as reducing costs and risks, compared to the development of New Chemical Entities.

Despite being set against the tragic backdrop of the global pandemic, 2020 was a significant year for Hyloris. The group raised €79.54m through an IPO on Euronext Brussels, which was the first Life Sciences IPO in 2020, providing Hyloris with the funding required to execute its ambitious growth plans of bringing innovative treatments to market as quickly as possible.

Hyloris’ development strategy of reformulating and repurposing approved pharmaceuticals primarily utilises the 505(b)(2) regulatory pathway in the US and similar pathways in other countries, which are specifically designed for pharmaceutical agents for which the safety and efficacy have already been established. This is a unique strategy that significantly shortens development timelines, whilst also reducing costs and risks.


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Implantica SDB

Based in Switzerland, Implantica is a medtech group dedicated to bringing advanced technology into the body. eHealth is the fastest growing treatment field in the world; however, most development is focused on gathering information from outside the body. Implantica’s platform e-InVivo™ is designed to monitor, deliver and handle information as well as treat, from inside the body.

The group’s lead product, RefluxStop™, is a CE-marked implant for the prevention of gastroesophageal reflux that has the potential to create a paradigm shift in anti-reflux treatment, as supported by successful clinical trial results. 

Implantica has developed a broad, patent protected, product pipeline based partly on its two platform technologies; an eHealth platform designed to monitor a broad range of health parameters, control treatment from inside the body and communicate to the caregiver on distance; and a wireless energising platform designed to power remote controlled implants wirelessly through intact skin. 


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Kooth plc

London-based Kooth was founded with the mission to tackle the global mental health challenge we are facing by democratising access to effective digital mental health care and making it available to all. WHO has forecast that by 2030, poor mental health will be the number one cause of mortality and morbidity globally. This is in addition to an estimated 10m people in the UK needing mental health support as a direct consequence of the pandemic. 

Kooth is as a pioneer and innovator in digital mental health care. Its technology platform and clinical operating model have been developed over 15 years to deliver an integrated, personalised approach to mental health support, providing individuals with access to self-help tools, community-powered peer support, and text-based professional counselling.

In September 2020, Kooth listed on AIM, raising £16m through the issue of new shares giving the group an initial market cap of £66m. Kooth was the first digital mental health platform to list on the London Stock Exchange and has used funds raised to invest in its technology platform.


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Nanoform Finland plc 

Nanoform, also shortlisted for the Emerging Star Award, is a nanoparticle medicine enabling company, based in Finland. The group’s patented and scalable Controlled Expansion of Supercritical Solutions (CESS) technology produces nanoformed API particles. Implementing CESS offers new technological and business advantages for the pharmaceutical industry.

Nanoform focuses on reducing clinical attrition and on enhancing drug molecules’ performance through its nanoforming technologies and formulation services. The group’s capabilities include GMP manufacturing, and its services span the small to large molecule development space, with a focus on solving key issues in drug solubility and bioavailability and on enabling novel drug delivery applications. 

Validation of Nanoform’s technology came via the group’s IPO in June 2020, which was significantly oversubscribed. A recent announcement, just outside the period under review in May 2021, revealed the completion and final results of Nanoform’s clinical study, which support the group’s technology and its potential applicability for producing fast-acting dosage forms for poorly soluble drugs.


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Vaccibody AS 

Based in Norway, Vaccibody is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the discovery and development of novel immunotherapies for cancer and infectious diseases. The group is developing cutting-edge, targeted DNA vaccines for clinical use, based on a deep understanding of immunological principles. 

Vaccibody’s lead product candidates are a personalised therapeutic cancer neoantigen vaccine, currently being evaluated in a Phase I/IIa clinical trial, and a therapeutic cancer vaccine against HPV16-related cancers currently being tested in a Phase II clinical trial. The group’s vaccines specifically target Antigen Presenting Cells (APC), which are essential for inducing rapid, strong and specific immune responses and elicit efficacious clinical responses.

By intelligent design, Vaccibody’s vaccines can be tailored to induce the desired immune response profile correlating with protection for each specific disease with any given antigen. Therefore the platform has the potential to address many disease areas, such as cancer and infectious diseases.


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Verici Dx plc 

Also shortlisted for the Emerging Star Award, US-based Verici Dx is a developer of advanced clinical diagnostics in organ transplant. The group is developing and commercialising tests to understand how a patient will, and is, responding to organ transplant, with an initial focus on kidney transplants. The group is a spinout of another AIM listed medtech firm, Renalytix, which itself is a spinout of point of care diagnostics and AIM listed, EKF Diagnostics plc.

Verici’s products and solutions are underpinned by extensive scientific research into the recipient’s immune phenotype and how that impacts on acute rejection, chronic injury and ultimately failure of the transplant. The group uses use advanced next-generation transcriptomic immune-phenotyping, coupled with AI techniques, to create a more personalised assessment of rejection risk and provide physicians with valuable and actionable insights.

Verici Dx was admitted to AIM in November 2020 upon raising £14.5m. The fundraising was significantly oversubscribed and is being used to initiate a global clinical trial for assay validation with a clear pathway to commercialisation.

Chief Executive of the Year Award

sponsored by Panmure Gordon

 
The 2021 shortlist:


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Renée Aguiar-Lucander/Calliditas Therapeutics

Renée has been CEO of Calliditas since 2017. Prior to joining the group, she sat on the other side of table, as Partner and COO of Omega Fund Management, focusing on investments within the life sciences sector.

Since becoming CEO of Calliditas, Renée has completely transformed the business. She implemented a new strategy, recruited a team in Europe and the US and developed the group’s clinical asset, Nefecon, with outstanding results. Renée took the biotech through an IPO in Stockholm, one of the largest European IPOs of 2018, completed a follow-on financing in 2019 and in June 2020, raised $90m in a transformational, upsized Nasdaq IPO.

In addition to this, Renee led Calliditas through a successful Phase III trial, reporting a stronger effect than seen in Phase IIb, which is generally not expected. Under her leadership, the group concluded the purchase of a controlling block in Genkyotex, allowing Calliditas to take on a pioneering role in the area of NOX inhibitors and become a key player in head and neck cancer indications. Under Renee’s mandate, Calliditas has diversified its shareholder base with further international specialist investors, including BVF Partners L.P., Sofinnova and Vivo Capital.


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Lisa Anson/Redx Pharma plc

Lisa Anson joined Redx Pharma as CEO in 2018. Lisa was previously President of AstraZeneca UK and has significant leadership experience in pharmaceuticals, gained during the course of her twenty-year career at AstraZeneca.

Under Lisa’s leadership, Redx has made exceptional progress, both financially and operationally. In June 2020, Lisa helped secure a £22.2m fundraise with the backing of large, supportive and well-funded specialist healthcare and life science investors, Redmile Group and Sofinnova Partners. Shortly following this, Redx signed a significant licensing agreement with AstraZeneca for its porcupine inhibitor, RXC006, resulting in $17m in early payments and a potential further $360m if the programme is successful.

In September, Lisa led and completed a new research collaboration with Jazz Pharmaceuticals to discover and develop drug candidates for two cancer targets on the Ras/Raf/MAP kinase (MAPK) pathway, which could result in $400m in milestone payments and tiered royalties. Lisa implemented a further gross fundraise of £25.7m in December, extending the group’s cash runway to the end of 2022. 


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Doug Doerfler/MaxCyte Inc.

Doug is CEO and founder of MaxCyte, which is based in the US and quoted on AIM. He has over thirty-five years’ experience in biotechnology product and company development, commercialisation and international financing. Previously, Doug was President, CEO and a Director of Immunicon Corporation and also held various executive positions with Life Technologies, Inc. (now Thermo Fisher).

It has been a significant year for MaxCyte under Doug’s leadership. The group added four additional strategic license customers in the last 12 months and its total potential pre-commercial milestone payments from its commercial partners now exceeds $950m. Doug helped implement a $30.5m financing in May 2020, led by premier life science specialist Nasdaq crossover investors, Casdin Capital, LLC and Sofinnova Partners. 

The group has entered 2021 with the largest strategic partnership pipeline it has ever seen. Mirroring the diversity of MaxCyte’s cell therapy pipeline achieved a 21% revenue growth, despite the challenging COVID-19 environment. In February this year, Doug oversaw the group’s £40m fundraise from new and existing investors to support its next-generation cell therapy development, which is significant because it helps pave the way forward for MaxCyte’s upcoming transformational dual-listing on Nasdaq.

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Thomas Lingelbach/Valneva SE

Thomas has been President and CEO of Valneva since 2012. Prior to this, Thomas was CEO of Intercell; Managing Director for Novartis Vaccines & Diagnostics Germany; Vice President of Global Industrial Operations at Chiron Vaccines, and has more than 25 years experience in the vaccine industry.

For the past ten years, Valneva has reported double-digit year on year sales growth under Thomas’ leadership. Last year was an exception, due to the pandemic, however the group continued to make excellent progress on its clinical programmes, including an unprecedented partnering deal signed with Pfizer for its Lyme disease vaccine candidate VLA15. This deal involved a $130m upfront payment as part of over $300m for upfront and milestone payments.

Thomas has also overseen the acceleration of Valneva’s chikungunya vaccine candidate VLA1553 into Phase III trials, the only phase III chikungunya vaccine program to date worldwide. The group is also contributing to the COVID-19 pandemic with the development of the only whole-virus inactivated vaccine candidate in clinical development in Europe. Commercial manufacturing has commenced, and the group has announced a major partnership with the UK government, worth up to €1.4bn, including investment in manufacturing plant and clinical trials. 

Just outside the period under review, the group announced it had raised $107m through a transformational Nasdaq listing. 


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Richard Marsden/Synairgen plc

Richard Marsden has been CEO of Synairgen since 2009. He first joined the group in a consulting role as General Manager in 2003. Prior to this, Richard worked at Profile Therapeutics plc, where he managed the Cystic Fibrosis business and played a major role in the development of its proprietary pharmaceutical unit, Profile Pharma Limited. 

Richard was quick to realise Synairgen’s inhaled interferon beta was a potential treatment for COVID-19, announcing in March 2020 the group would start a trial of SNG001 imminently. Synairgen was one of the first movers in the UK towards initiating clinical trials and one of the first drugs, in July 2020, to show promising data. Richard oversaw the successful negotiations with public bodies and international governments to advance the drug, with the ACTIV-2 trial beginning dosing in the US in February 2021 and the Phase III trial set to recruit in up to 20 countries.

Richard led an oversubscribed £87m fundraising in October, designed to fund COVID-19 clinical trials and manufacturing scale-up, in addition to signing agreements with both Akron Biotechnology and Catalent Biologics to ensure a continued supply. The group’s rapid response to COVID-19 resulted in a significant share price increase during the period. 


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Jan van de Winkel/Genmab A/S

Jan van de Winkel is co-founder, President and CEO of Genmab. He played a key role as CSO for the first eleven years, before becoming President and CEO in 2010 and developing the group into a fully independent commercial enterprise. Jan has more than twenty-five years of experience in the therapeutic antibody field and served as Vice President and Scientific Director of Medarex Europe prior to Genmab.

For the past few years, Jan has been focussed on evolving Genmab into a fully-integrated end-to-end biotech. The group achieved several milestones which helped accelerate this evolution in 2020, the most significant being Genmab’s landmark broad oncology collaboration with AbbVie. The deal involved Genmab receiving a $750m upfront payment, with the potential for up to $3.15bn in additional development, regulatory and sales milestone payments for all programmes, in addition to tiered royalties on net sales for epcoritamab outside the US and Japan. 

Jan oversaw the significant expansion of Genmab’s pipeline during the period, in addition to gaining approval of three of its antibodies created by Genmab. Chief among these was DARZALEX® (daratumumab), developed and commercialized by Janssen, which became the first and only subcutaneously administered CD38 antibody approved in the world in 2020. These achievements, led by Jan, have established Genmab as a biotech innovation powerhouse.


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Joe Wiley/Amryt Pharma plc

Joe founded Amryt in 2004. He has over 20 years’ experience in the pharmaceutical, medical and venture capital industries. Joe opened and led the European office of Sofinnova Ventures and was previously a medical director at Astellas Pharma, where he was involved in the launch of a number of specialty pharmaceutical products. 

Joe’s leadership and understanding of the life sciences industry has cemented Amryt’s position as a leading player in the rare and orphan disease space. During the period, Joe led Amryt through its Nasdaq listing, which could have a significant impact on the group’s share price in the long term. Following this, Joe also worked with the team to secure $40m in a private placement with lead biotech investors including Stonepine Capital, LP, Aquilo Capital Management, LLC and Amati Global Investors.

Joe’s guidance led Amryt through its pivotal Phase III ‘EASE’ trial, evaluating FILSUVEZ for the treatment of Epidermolyis Bullosa. Amryt is now on track to receive FDA approval in the US in 2021. The group’s two commercial products continue to deliver solid growth across a host of metrics including revenue, EBITDA growth, cash generation and market expansion.


Company of the Year Award

sponsored by WG Partners

 
The 2021 shortlist:


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AstraZeneca plc 

Also nominated for the most Most Significant Contribution to the Mediscience Sector Award, AstraZeneca has had a remarkable year. 

When the true scale of COVID-19 became clear, AstraZeneca committed to helping defeat the disease by harnessing and sharing its scientific knowledge and expertise to advance and accelerate the development of potential medicines to prevent or treat the virus.

AstraZeneca accelerated clinical development and rapidly mobilised partnerships and a global supply chain to support a broad, timely and equitable supply of a safe and effective vaccine around the world at no profit during the pandemic, which was an unprecedented and historical achievement. 

The group had remarkable pipeline and regulatory performances in 2020, with 29 approvals of new medicines or life-cycle management indications in major markets. AstraZenca delivered double-digit revenue growth during the period and the group’s proposed acquisition of Alexion will accelerate its commercial and scientific evolution further still. 


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BioNTech SE 

Unsurprisingly, BioNTech has been nominated for a total of four awards at this year’s Mediscience Awards.

The group’s historic development of the first mRNA vaccine for COVID-19, moving from lab and clinical testing to conditional approval within an unprecedented 11 month period, was named “Project Lightspeed” for good reason. BioNTech’s collaboration with Pfizer rapidly advanced multiple COVID-19 vaccine candidates into human clinical testing, based on the group’s proprietary mRNA vaccine platforms, subsequently ensuring rapid worldwide access to the vaccine. 

BioNTech’s unique mRNA platform on which the vaccine is based is a method never before used in a licensed pharmaceutical and is an approach that had faced scepticism from the healthcare industry. The group’s historic achievement produced a scientific breakthrough that has saved millions of lives and ultimately offered humanity a route out of the COVID-19 pandemic.


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Ergomed plc

Ergomed had a stand-out year during the period, with a number of strategic developments that helped elevate its position and enabled the group to exceed market expectations.

Ergomed demonstrated its ability to contribute throughout the COVID-19 pandemic by leveraging its technological capabilities and developing digital transformation of clinical trials. The group implemented two highly strategic acquisitions in the key US market for pharmaceutical services, which strengthened Ergomed’s global leadership capabilities and helped contribute to its excellent progress and continued expansion in the US.

Ergomed’s transition to a fully services-based business model  was completed on schedule in 2020, with the business now entirely focused on its core service businesses in the PV and CRO sectors. Further validation of this strategic focus on services was evidenced by the group’s significantly improved financial and operational performance and substantial revenue growth.


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Genmab A/S

Genmab had an exceptional year with the group coming closer to delivering on its ambition to become a fully-integrated end-to-end biotech. 

Genmab achieved several landmarks during the period, the most significant being its milestone oncology collaboration with AbbVie. The deal involved Genmab receiving a $750m upfront payment, with the potential for up to $3.15bn in additional development, regulatory and sales milestone payments for all programmes, in addition to tiered royalties on net sales for epcoritamab outside the US and Japan. 

Genmab CEO, Jan van de Winkel remarked that “the past year was like no other in the history of Genmab”. The AbbVie agreement helps Genmab accelerate, broaden and maximise the development of its promising bispecific antibody products, which have the potential to be life changing for cancer patients. The group’s other significant achievements include the opening of cutting-edge laboratories in the US and the strategic development of its internal capabilities across global sites, including its latest location in Tokyo. 


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MaxCyte Inc.

Also nominated in a record-breaking four categories, the period has been one of significant growth and momentum for MaxCyte. 

Over the last twelve months, MaxCyte added four additional strategic license customers to its portfolio, giving the group potential pre-commercial milestone payments in excess of $950m. MaxCyte completed a $30.5m financing in May 2020 and in February 2021 raised a further £40m from new and existing investors, helping pave the way for an upcoming transformational dual-listing on Nasdaq.

MaxCyte entered 2021 with the largest strategic partnership pipeline it has ever seen, mirroring the diversity of the group’s cell therapy pipeline. Despite the challenging COVID-19 backdrop, the group achieved significant revenue growth, which further validates its exceptional technology and valuable pipeline. 


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Oxford BioMedica plc

Oxford BioMedica’s success has been well documented this year, thanks to the group’s participation in the global efforts to battle COVID-19.

Oxford BioMedica joined the consortium, led by the Jenner Institute, to rapidly develop, scale and manufacture a potential vaccine for COVID-19 in April 2020. By September 2020, Oxford Biomedica announced an 18-month supply agreement with AstraZeneca for the large-scale manufacture of the COVID vaccine. The speed with which the vaccine was created, approved and manufactured is nothing short of phenomenal and will long be remembered as a significant historical and scientific achievement. 

The group’s new manufacturing facility, Oxbox, was formally opened by Boris Johnson in January 2021, enabling Oxford BioMedica to support its product pipeline and meet the increasing and global demand for lentiviral vectors, alongside manufacturing the AstraZeneca vaccine. This world class facility is suitable for the manufacture of a variety of viral vectors and will more than double Oxford Biomedica's manufacturing capacity, supporting further growth in revenues and partner programmes.

Voting panel

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Ian Restall

Flathill Communications Group plc

(Voting panel Chairman)

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Mette Kirstine Agger

Lundbeckfonden Ventures

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Vadim Alexandre

SP Angel LLP

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Nigel Barnes

WG Partners

Ailsa-Craig_EMA19_J134.jpg

Ailsa Craig

SV Health Investors

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Victoria Darbyshire

JP Morgan Asset Management

John-Dawson-crop.jpg

John Dawson

Oxford BioMedica plc

Eva-Haas-crop_2021.jpg

Eva Haas

Optimum Strategic Communications

Stefan_Hamill_2021.jpg

Stefan Hamill

Numis Securities Ltd

Nooman_Haque_2021.jpg

Nooman Haque

Silicon Valley Bank

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Anne Hennecke

MC Services AG

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Max Herrmann

Stifel

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Ulrich Kinzel

goetzpartners

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Ciara Martin

FTI Consulting

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Matthew Neal

Consilium Strategic Communications

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Geraldine O'Keeffe

Life Sciences Partners (LSP)

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Morag Peberdy

Covington

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David Pinniger

Polar Capital Partners

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Tara Raveendran

Shore Capital

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Nick Rodgers

SEHTA

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Julie Simmonds

Panmure Gordon & Co.

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Sachin Soni

Third Eye Asset Management

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Dr Ivo Staijen

HBM Partners AG

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Linden Thomson

AXA Investment Managers

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Melanie Toyne-Sewell

Instinctif Partners

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Dylan Van Haaften

Bryan Garnier & Co.

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Julie Wilford

Design Portfolio

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Ian Restall

Flathill Communications Group plc(Voting panel Chairman)

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Mette Kirstine Agger

Lundbeckfonden Ventures

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Vadim Alexandre

SP Angel LLP

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Nigel Barnes

WG Partners

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Ailsa Craig

SV Health Investors

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Victoria Darbyshire

JP Morgan Asset Management

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John Dawson

Oxford BioMedica plc

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Eva Haas

Optimum Strategic Communications

Stefan_Hamill_2021.jpg

Stefan Hamill

Numis Securities Ltd

Nooman_Haque_2021.jpg

Nooman Haque

Silicon Valley Bank

Anne_Hennecke_2021.jpg

Anne Hennecke

MC Services AG

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Max Herrmann

Stifel

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Ulrich Kinzel

goetzpartners

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Ciara Martin

FTI Consulting

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Matthew Neal

Consilium Strategic Communications

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Geraldine O'Keeffe

Life Sciences Partners (LSP)

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Morag Peberdy

Covington

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David Pinniger

Polar Capital Partners

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Tara Raveendran

Shore Capital

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Nick Rodgers

SEHTA

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Julie Simmonds

Panmure Gordon & Co.

Sachin_Soni_2021.jpg

Sachin Soni

Third Eye Asset Management

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Dr Ivo Staijen

HBM Partners AG

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Linden Thomson

AXA Investment Managers

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Melanie Toyne-Sewell

Instinctif Partners

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Dylan Van Haaften

Bryan Garnier & Co.

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Julie Wilford

Design Portfolio

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Ian Restall

Flathill Communications Group plc(Voting panel Chairman)

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Mette Kirstine Agger

Lundbeckfonden Ventures

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Vadim Alexandre

SP Angel LLP

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Nigel Barnes

WG Partners

Ailsa-Craig_EMA19_J134.jpg

Ailsa Craig

SV Health Investors

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Victoria Darbyshire

JP Morgan Asset Management

John-Dawson-crop.jpg

John Dawson

Oxford BioMedica plc

Eva-Haas-crop_2021.jpg

Eva Haas

Optimum Strategic Communications

Stefan_Hamill_2021.jpg

Stefan Hamill

Numis Securities Ltd

Nooman_Haque_2021.jpg

Nooman Haque

Silicon Valley Bank

Anne_Hennecke_2021.jpg

Anne Hennecke

MC Services AG

Max_Herrmann_2021.jpg

Max Herrmann

Stifel

Ulrich_Kinzel_2021.jpg

Ulrich Kinzel

goetzpartners

Ciara-Martin-030-crop.jpg

Ciara Martin

FTI Consulting

Matthew-Neal_crop.jpg

Matthew Neal

Consilium Strategic Communications

Geraldine_OKeeffe_2021.jpg

Geraldine O'Keeffe

Life Sciences Partners (LSP)

Morag-Peberdy_2021.jpg

Morag Peberdy

Covington

David_Pinniger_2021.jpg

David Pinniger

Polar Capital Partners

Tara_Raveendran_2021.jpg

Tara Raveendran

Shore Capital

Nick_Rodgers_2021.jpg

Nick Rodgers

SEHTA

Julie_Simmonds_2021.jpg

Julie Simmonds

Panmure Gordon & Co.

Sachin_Soni_2021.jpg

Sachin Soni

Third Eye Asset Management

Ivo-Staijen_EMA19_J108.jpg

Dr Ivo Staijen

HBM Partners AG

linden_thomson_2021.jpg

Linden Thomson

AXA Investment Managers

Melanie_Toyne-Sewell_2021.jpg

Melanie Toyne-Sewell

Instinctif Partners

DYLAN_VANHAAFTEN-crop.jpg

Dylan Van Haaften

Bryan Garnier & Co.

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Julie Wilford

Design Portfolio

The event


Sponsorship

Sponsorship opportunities sometimes become available, including sponsorship of an individual award, sponsorship of the official drinks reception or sponsorship of the menu. Sponsorship opportunities are, by their very nature, limited. Costs and availability on request.


Hosting a table

Reservations are available for tables of ten people. Numbers are strictly limited and reservations are taken on a first come, first served basis.


Advertising

Advertising in the brochure is welcomed and enables your key messages to reach a highly targeted audience. The event brochure is available on the night and contains details of the names of all attendees, in alphabetical and table order. Thus it is widely used as a corporate finance reference guide for up to a year after the event.


Bespoke sponsorship opportunities

We offer a range of bespoke sponsorship packages, tailor made to suit your marketing objectives and budget. Further information on request.


COVID-19

We were unable to hold the European Mediscience Awards in 2020 due to the global pandemic, COVID-19. Instead, we conducted a digital campaign hosted on our social media channels. We saw great levels of engagement and reach, and the campaign was deemed a huge success. 

All being well, and subject to government guidelines, we hope to be able to meet in person this year at the European Mediscience Awards on Tuesday 16 November 2021.

Jo Thomas
Managing Director
Ford Sinclair


 
 
Key details
 

On the night


Date

Tuesday 16 November 2021 (subject to government guidelines)


Venue

The Brewery, 52 Chiswell Street, London EC1Y 4SD  


Start time

6.00 p.m.   – Drinks reception 
7.30 p.m.   – Dinner 
9.15 p.m.   – Awards 
9.45 p.m.   – After-dinner entertainment 
12.30 a.m. – Carriages 


Dress code

Black Tie


Charity collection

A charity collection will be taken up during the course of the evening. Further details to follow. 

Getting there


By public transport

Tube stations:
Barbican or Moorgate (five-minute walk to venue)
Circle, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan lines
Northern line (Moorgate only) 

DLR station:
Bank (adjacent to tube – follow the direction signs; 15-minute walk to the venue) 

Rail stations:
Liverpool Street (nine-minute walk) 
Moorgate (six-minute walk) 


By road

The Brewery, 52 Chiswell Street, London EC1Y 4SD  
Sat nav: EC1Y 4SA

The venue is in a Congestion Charge zone.
There are no car parking facilities on site at The Brewery.
Limited pay and display street parking is available.  

24-hour public parking is available at:
Barbican Centre, EC2Y 8DS (nearest public NCP car park)
Finsbury Square, EC2A 1AD 
London Aldersgate, EC1A 4HY 
London Wall, EC2V 5DY 

Accommodation


The Brewery, London EC1: exclusive rates for bedrooms may be available for guests attending the event. Further details will be available in due course. 

For information on hotels nearby, please visit www.thebrewery.co.uk/where-to-stay/hotels-nearby/
 


 
Location

Key dates

w/c Monday 15 March 2021

Nominations open

Friday 16 April 2021

Nominations close

Thursday 6 and Monday 10 May 2021

Voting Panel meeting

Tuesday 11 May 2021

Shortlist announcement

Tuesday 16 November 2021, subject to government guidelines

Winners’ announcement at the European Mediscience Awards 2021 gala ceremony

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Latest media

Charity

The European Mediscience Awards 2021 is proud to announce its support of the charity Kidney Research UK 


Worldwide, around one in 10 people has chronic kidney disease, for which there is no cure. Here in the UK, 20 people develop kidney failure each day, and around 70,000 are reliant on dialysis or a transplant to stay alive. Over the past decade some progress has been made in treating kidney disease, but not nearly enough, with successive generations experiencing the same life-limiting health problems and inadequate treatments. 

As the largest kidney research charity in the UK, nothing is going to stop us in our urgent mission to end kidney disease. We’re here to be heard, to make a difference, to change the future. 

https://kidneyresearchuk.org