The AusBiotech and Johnson & Johnson Innovation Industry Excellence Awards were announced yesterday at the AusBiotech 2018 national conference in Brisbane. The Awards recognise innovative companies and individuals in Australia’s world-class biotechnology, medical technology and healthcare sectors. The awards act as an opportunity to celebrate the highest achievers in Australian life sciences, demonstrating what is possible when vision and dedication come together.
This year, the decisions were extremely difficult to make, with the greatest number of nominations in the award’s history – a result AusBiotech believes is down to both the strength of the industry, as well as the positive environment that the government is providing industry to do business within. For the first time ever, joint-winners were awarded for the Emerging Company of the Year category.
Congratulations to 2018’s winners: Dr Anna Lavelle who won the Industry Leadership Award, Medicines Development for Global Health who won the Company of the Year award, and to Telix Pharmaceuticals and Microba who won Joint Emerging Company of the Year.
Ms Lorraine Chiroiu says “These awards recognise the notable highlights of the abundant excellence in our industry and encourage us with what can be achieved when innovation is accompanied by the business acumen needed to bring new health technologies to patients.”
Ms Kathy Connell, Senior Director New Ventures, ANZ, Johnson & Johnson Innovation, added: “Johnson & Johnson Innovation is extremely proud to sponsor these awards and celebrate the passion and creativity of these extraordinary recipients as they advance biomedical research and healthcare innovation. Each of them is a true champion of science, working on mission-critical improvements to healthcare access, impact and outcomes for patients all around the world.”
Industry Leadership Award: Dr Anna Lavelle
Dedicating her life to biotechnology, Dr Anna Lavelle has worked for over 25 years campaigning for the growth and expansion of the life sciences and medical technologies sector.
Anna holds a PhD in Genetics from the University of Melbourne and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD). She is also a Fellow of the Academy of Technology Science and Engineering (FTSE) and a Fellow of the Leadership Victoria Program.
Anna spent 11 years as AusBiotech’s CEO where she advocated for policy changes, including the R&D tax incentive. During this time, she became the only Australian to be recognised by Nature Scientific America as one of the world’s top 100 visionaries in biotechnology.
In addition to currently being the Independent Chair of Medicines Australia, Anna continues to serve the industry via a number of governance and advisory roles including: Non-executive Director Haemokinesis, Chair Australia National Digital Health initiative (ANDHealth), Independent Director CRC-HPS, Chairman Avatar Brokers and is Senior Advisor to MTPConnect.
Company of the Year: Medicines Development for Global Health
Medicines Development for Global Health are dedicated to developing affordable medicines and vaccines that may have limited commercial opportunity, but which address important unmet medical needs. Their sustained record of commitment and achievement in the biotechnology industry has recently culminated with US FDA registration approval for moxidectin to treat river blindness; an extraordinary accomplishment on many fronts.
Telix Pharmaceuticals, established in November 2015, has demonstrated impressively rapid growth. Developing molecularly-targeted radiation (MTR) therapies, they’re killing cancer cells, shrinking tumours and halting disease growth. Telix Pharmaceuticals was ASX listed in November 2017 and raising more than $50 million, they represent the largest capital raised for a biotechnology company since CSL in 1997. They are expecting their first revenues before the end of this year. Fighting global health concerns, they are leveraging their international collaborations and relationships while fostering local talent, having created more than 20 new positions in 2018 alone.
Microba has developed the first at-home faecal test to identify species level resolution of gut microbiome. A spin-out from the University of Queensland, they have raised $7 million in Series A Capital, and, this year, launched their first product to market. Already supplying over 3,000 individuals with personal gut health information, they have raised over $1 million in revenue. Microba has also built research and development facilities (including a state of the art laboratory), a database of over 800 newly discovered species of microorganisms, filed three international patents, and has 40 research partnerships with Australian academics, clinicians, and other companies to advance gut microbiome research.