Showcasing the very best in the life sciences industry, the 2022 Bionow Awards proved to be a glamorous occasion, with guests once again dining beneath the iconic Concorde.
Almost 350 attendees at the black tie event marked the celebration of scientific excellence in style, popping open the champagne and taking tours of Concorde in the super hangar at Manchester Airport on 16th March.
The award winners
The competition was once again tough, with two brand-new categories and with the judges presented with a very high calibre of shortlisted companies and individuals across all the awards. There could only be one victor, however, and the winning entries for each category was as follows:
Judged on the quality of the company product, service or R&D initiative and acknowledging the potential for growth, the recipient of the Bionow Startup Award had already raised money, commercialised the technology quickly and offered a clear female global public health benefit. Viveca Biomed, a rapidly growing specialist female healthcare business, provides sufferers of bladder leakage a new quality of life. The product has recently gained NHS approval and is exported to over 20 countries.
The Bionow Healthcare Project of the Year Award was intended to recognise high quality innovative healthcare projects, and the winner of this category, the University of Manchester’s DETERMINE initiative demonstrated this as an innovative multi-drug pan-cancer platform trial providing access to and evaluating targeted therapies outside their licensed indications, helping to identify treatments for those with rare cancers.
Identifying high quality innovative projects or R&D initiatives which address important technical challenges, the Bionow Project of the Year Award went to the CPI’s Soteria project, which involved the formulation, scale up and manufacture of an oral drug (GMP) for inflammatory bowel disease, which could potentially allow the patient to take a targeted medication at home.
Recognising that the recipient of the Bionow Product of the Year Award as developing a highly innovative product which addresses a definite need in the healthcare industry, as well as their collaboration with five tier 1 global life science organisations, the accolade went to Crest Solutions for the CXV Global SmartFactory LineClearance AssistantTM, an innovative solution which digitalises the pharma and medical device line clearance process during packaging operations.
The Bionow Technical Service Award winner identified the use of 3D printing to enable their customers to try multiple versions of early-stage designs in a very short space of time, reducing the time and cost of diagnostic product development. Rapid Fluidics provides microfluidic design, prototyping and manufacturing services using a novel approach to produce microfluidic test cards with a next-day turnaround.
The recipient of the new Bionow Partnership & Collaboration Award was able to describe a large collaboration between an impressive number of multinational organisations, all focused on an area of unmet clinical need. Having already leveraged more than £4 million in research funding to address the challenges of living with mental health conditions, Medicines Discovery Catapult’s Psychiatry Consortium is a strategic collaboration of two leading medical research charities, eight pharmaceutical companies and two contract research organisations.
In recognition of an exceptional individual within the first five years of their life science career and having demonstrated significant contribution to their current role, the Bionow Rising Star Award recipient, Kimberly Rockley of ApconiX, demonstrated leadership and business development skills as well as cutting edge research into human based in-vitro assays, contributing to the launch of two commercial assays, one of which is an innovative approach to seizure detection.
The Bionow Investment Deal Award winner stood out in both scale and potential impact. Developing and commercialising a new antifungal agent for invasive fungal infections in Europe and Asia, including $100 million upfront payment, shared development costs and a commitment of up to $380 million in regulatory and commercial milestones, F2G’s collaboration with Shionogi won top prize.
Another new category for 2022, the Bionow Business Growth Award identified a recipient which demonstrated growth in all the areas considered, including profit, headcount and facilities. Seda Pharmaceutical Development Services’ sustained growth has enabled a significant financial investment of around £4 million in new facilities to enhance their capabilities, capacity and working environment for their team.
Recognising export successes and with a significant proportion of their sales in international markets, the Bionow Export Award winner has shown very significant export growth of 88% over the last 3 years and are exporting to significant markets across the globe. Navigating the significant challenges of Brexit and with significant investment in their UK site, CSL Seqirus has continued to innovate its seasonal influenza vaccine, increasing annual export revenues to nearly $1bn during the pandemic.
The Bionow Outstanding Contribution Award recognises an exceptional individual who has made a significant contribution to the sector throughout their career. This year’s recipient was Prof Claire Thompson, CEO of Agility Life Sciences and an entrepreneur with more than 20 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry, with titles including Entrepreneur in Residence at the University of Cambridge, honorary Professor at the University of Nottingham and founder and funder of the Girls In Football Teams (GIFT) Grant initiative. With a passion for demonstrating to girls where science can take them and about providing opportunities for women and girls to excel, Claire also Chairs the global FIPWiSE (Women in Science and Education) initiative to engage, enable and empower girls and women.
Representing a leading, globally formidable company which has demonstrated significant progress year on year whilst also demonstrating notable progress during the past 12 months, the Bionow Company of the Year Award went to CSL Seqirus. The organisation has contributed significantly to their local economy and has secured significant recent investments to develop their capabilities, as well as into the wellbeing of their staff.
The final accolade of the evening was the Bionow Lifetime Achievement Award, which was given to John Stageman CBE, Chair of Bionow. After a long and distinguished career at AstraZeneca and its forerunners, John has held many influential positions including as a member of the BBSRC Research Council, Chairman of the Biomedical Catalyst and Chairman of LifeArc. More locally he has been a Governor of the University of Manchester and a member of the Steering Board of Health Innovation Manchester. John was awarded an OBE for services to the UK Biotechnology Industry in 2011 and an MBE in 2022 for services to the Translation of Medical Research.
Reflecting on his win, John remarked: “This unique award was a complete and totally unexpected surprise! I'm immensely proud of what Bionow has achieved and the impact it has had on our Northern life science knowledge and economic sector over the last 20 years. I treasure my 'lifetime achievement award' and I am delighted to have played a part in the success of Bionow.”
Commenting on a fantastic evening of celebration, Dr Geoff Davison, CEO of Bionow, said: “It’s great to be back at the Concorde Conference Centre to commemorate another amazing year for the North within the life sciences sector. The judging panel were particularly impressed with the calibre of the entries, and it has been very difficult to choose winners as the standard was so high. Congratulations all the nominees and the winners in particular.”
Dr Kath Mackay, Director of Life Sciences at Bruntwood SciTech added: “Every year, the Bionow Awards are one of the most exciting evenings in the sector. This year didn't disappoint, and the quality of businesses that were shortlisted for awards demonstrates the booming and ambitious life science sector in the UK, and specifically the North. If the UK can harness its knowledge, talent and expertise and combine it with networks of investors and environments in which firms thrive, then it can realise the government’s ambition to become a “science superpower”. The North has great strength in areas such as genomics, clinical trials, drug discovery and development, AI and medicines manufacturing and is set to be a driving force in realising this ambition. It's a privilege to celebrate with the region's most innovative, and we are very proud to sponsor the Bionow Awards."
The 2022 Bionow Awards is supported by Appleyard Lees and Bruntwood SciTech.
The full list of winners are:
Bionow Start Up Award Sponsored by RSM UK
Bionow Healthcare Project of the Year Sponsored by Entrust Resource Solutions
Project: Identifying new treatments for patients with rare cancers (DETERMINE trial)
Bionow Project of the Year Sponsored by Waters Corporation
Project: Soteria: Development of a Scalable Manufacturing Process for Oral Infliximab
Bionow Product of the Year Sponsored by The Innovation Agency | Yorkshire & Humber AHSN | Health Innovation Manchester
Product: CXV Global SmartFactory LineClearance AssistantTM
Bionow Technical Service Award Sponsored by Square One Law
Technical Service: Next-day turnaround of rapid-prototype microfluidic devices
Bionow Partnership & Collaboration Award Sponsored by Mills & Reeve
Partnership: Psychiatry Consortium
Bionow Rising Star Award Sponsored by CSL Seqirus
Bionow Investment Deal of the Year Sponsored by QIAGEN
Deal: F2G and Shionogi collaborate to bring new antifungal to Europe
Bionow Business Growth Award Sponsored by SRG
Seda Pharmaceutical Development Services
Bionow Export Award Sponsored by DLA Piper
Bionow Outstanding Contribution Sponsored by Sci-Tech Daresbury | Science and Technology Facilities Council
Prof Claire Thompson, CEO of Agility Life Sciences
Bionow Company of the Year Sponsored by AstraZeneca
Bionow Lifetime Achievement Award
John Stageman CBE, Chair of Bionow