Piramed and Domainex named among best of British biotech
Piramed and Domainex are among the cutting-edge companies which have been recognised as the best of the UKs biotech sector.
UK Trade & Investment (a special business-promoting division of government department the DTI) recently announced the winners of the 2007 UK BioEntrepreneurial Company of the Year Awards, aimed at recognising innovation and entrepreneurship in the biotech industry.
More than 20 companies were nominated for the awards, which highlighted excellence in specialist technology areas in the UK, region by region.
Berkshire-based company, Piramed Pharma has received the Innovation in Drug Discovery and Development award for its contribution to the development of innovative new medicines.
Founded in 2003 by three eminent UK scientists, Professors Mike Waterfield, Peter Parker and Paul Workman, Piramed specialises in the discovery of highly selective drugs that inhibit different isoforms of PI 3-kinase, enzymes which play a key role in many different disease processes.
In 2005, it secured a lucrative deal with Genentech to collaborate on one of its most advanced research programmes in PI 3-kinase isoforms, and it currently has a number of other in-house programmes as well.
Meanwhile, London-based company, Domainex was awarded the Innovation in Enabling Biotechnology Award for its work in developing new technologies to speed drug discovery and development, with Oxford Genome Sciences and Lux Biotechnology being the runners-up in this category.
Recipients of a special award were London-based VetCell Bioscience, for being the company which had achieved the greatest volume of sales in a new territory with the assistance of UK Trade & Investment. Hygieia. The runners-up in this category were Healthcare and Excelsyn Molecular Development.
Presenting the awards at Lancaster House, UK Trade & Investment chief executive Andrew Cahn congratulated the companies for their commitment to innovation, research and development and entrepreneurship in the UK biotech industry.
“It is important that we continue to recognise and celebrate the success of our bioscience industry, which remains one of the fastest growing sectors in the UK economy,” Cahn said.
Britain’s biotechnology sector has consolidated its position as number one in Europe and is second in the world only to the US, exporting more than $18 billion of pharmaceuticals.
The industry has more than 450 companies and employs more than 22,400 employees. In 2003, it generated revenues of £3.6 billion and spent £1.23 billion on R&D.
Dr Peter Chambre was presented with an Outstanding Achievement Award for his work across the sector.
Cahn said: “Dr Chambre has made a significant contribution to the UK’s biotechnology sector.”
He is the former chief executive of Cambridge Antibody Technology and was responsible for the company in the years preceding its much-publicised acquisition by AstraZeneca.
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