Trail-blazing Campus-based organisations based on the Babraham Research Campus, and members of the academic community within the Babraham Institute are bolstering the Cambridge Cluster’s global reputation for innovative biotechnology and life sciences with a host of companies and individuals reaching the finals of the Cambridge Independent Science and Technology Awards 2019.
Two of the five finalists for Biotech Company of the year are based at the Babraham Research Campus, and two pioneering Campus companies will be hoping for double delight after both making the shortlist in two categories.
PredictImmune is up for two awards; Medtech Company of the Year and CEO of the Year for Paul Kinnon, who helped drive PredictImmune’s commercialisation strategy, including the UK launch of its prognostic test for IBD.
PhoreMost, a new-model drug discovery company focused on bringing more effective and affordable targeted medicines to patients, has also made the shortlist for two categories – Life Science Company of the Year and Biotech Company of the Year.
Joining them in the Biotech Company of the Year category is STORM Therapeutics which is leading the way in tackling disease through modulating RNA-modifying enzymes.
The pioneering work at Crescendo Biologics, a spinout from the Babraham Institute, has been recognised with a spot in the final six for The Award for Innovation category. Its ground-breaking Humabody therapeutics can be configured to engage therapeutic targets in ways that conventional antibodies cannot achieve in the fight against cancer.
Shift Bioscience, one of the five winning start-ups in this year’s Accelerate@Babraham competition, also features in The Award for Innovation shortlist. The pre-clinical drug discovery and development company is extending healthy lifespan by targeting root causes of ageing.
And in terms of individual contributions when it comes to pushing the boundaries of scientific knowledge and discovering answers to complex questions, the MRC, Babraham Institute and CRUK researchers all feature heavily in the Researcher of the Year category.
Dr Stephen Clark of the Babraham Institute has made the shortlist for his work in developing the single cell multi-omics technologies; Dr Benjamin Falcon of the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology for his cryo-electron microscopy work which demonstrated the molecular basis of disease-specific conformers of filaments for the first time; and Dr Julius Fredens, a postdoctoral scientist at the MRC LMB, is recognised for his work in describing how the total genome of E.coli was synthesised from scratch - creating a fundamentally different genetic code to all other organisms in life.
CRUK has one of three of its Therapeutic Discovery Laboratories on the Campus. Professor Helena Earl of the CRUK Cambridge Centre is also shortlisted for her practice-changing results from a landmark clinical trial published in the Lancet, showing women treated with six months of Herceptin for HER2 early-stage breast cancer did as well those on the conventional 12 months. This means fewer side effects and significant healthcare cost savings.
Derek Jones, Chief Executive of Babraham Bioscience Technologies, which develops and manages the Babraham Research Campus said: “Congratulations to all the innovative companies and talented individuals who have made the shortlist. We’re proud to see so many Babraham enterprises and people acknowledged and valued for their expertise, dexterity and accomplishments.
“The Babraham Research Campus a co-location of academic excellence from the Babraham Institute with start-up and scale-up companies offers a supportive and highly networked community to over 60 bioscience organisations. We will continue to ensure our Campus allows them to focus on developing their science, creating new medicines, jobs and growth, and maximising the impact and reputation of UK science.”
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