ERS at the 2023 Bionow Awards

Events | By: James Clemens | | 5 minute read.

A highlight of the life sciences calendar, the awards dinner was back at the fabulous Concorde Conference Centre on 7th March, with over 300 attendees gathering for an evening of celebration and achievement. Competition was fierce and we would like to take this opportunity to congratulate all the shortlisted companies.

As a business we were delighted to sponsor and present the Business Support Award which went to Pharmaron, which doubled revenues and secured £151 million investment in capital and people from the UK Life Sciences Innovative Manufacturing Fund and Pharmaron Corporate to increase production capacity four-fold for gene therapies and vaccines, and create 174 jobs.

All award winners

Demonstrating sustainability plus growth potential, the Start-Up Award recipient, NunaBio is a specialist DNA development company which has built a solid reputation for R&D flexibility and innovative approaches to complex and challenging projects, with a mission to unlock the full potential of genetic innovation.

The Project of the Year Award, recognising those that have taken a major step forward in the area of research and demonstrated an innovative and novel approach, went to Agile Life Sciences for MenoGuide. A diagnostic test, it measures the vaginal microbiome and accurately assesses the stage of menopause and monitors the impact of treatment for menopause.

Identifying high quality innovative products which have impacted significantly upon a problem within the life science industry or healthcare sector, the Product of the Year Award winner was MYoroface with their IQoro Neuromuscular Training Device, which strengthens and restores nerve pathway control and muscle strength throughout the swallowing chain.

The Technical Service Award recipient, Biofortuna, developed lyophilised bead IVD design (LyoBeads) and high throughput manufacture for POC devices and services in challenging environments due to their stability at room temperature, completing the development and validation of systems in 2023 to manufacture over one million LyoBeads per week.

Celebrating an exceptional individual within the first five years of their life science career and having demonstrated significant contribution to their current role, the Rising Star Award recipient, Faith Howard of the University of Sheffield and CEO and co-founder of NANOncolytics. is no stranger to accolades, having already won the BACR Roger Griffin Prize for Cancer Drug Discovery, Best Company Pitch at the University of Edinburgh’s Venture Builder Incubator, and Cancer Research UK’s Top Innovations to Watch.

The next new award category was the Social Impact Award, which recognises activities aimed at creating significant, positive societal changes by addressing a pressing and defined challenge. The winner, The Christie NHS Foundation Trust, demonstrated this with a positive impact on the environment, EDI and sustainability achieved by improving sustainability of early phase clinical trials in the UK and in parallel supporting medical treatment across sub-Saharan Africa through re-distribution of consumables.

The recipient of the Partnership & Collaboration Award, the University of Manchester, was able to demonstrate an impressive collaboration with their more than 15-year skin health and ageing research partnership with Boots, which has enabled new discoveries in skin biology to be incorporated into novel commercial products via a robust, clinical screening programme. Not only that, it has also brought several million pounds of investment into North-West bioscience, producing 100+ scientific publications, 10 patents and new employment opportunities.

Rounding off the new categories for 2023 was the Internationalisation Award, for organisations trading their products, services, and expertise overseas, which went to Cresset Biomolecular Discovery. Their patented CADD Software, collaborative Torx® DMTA design-make-test-analyse platform, and expert Discovery CRO scientists enables chemists to enhance efficiency and win the race to success in the global pharmaceuticals, agrochemicals, and flavours and fragrances industries.

The Business Growth Award winner, Gentronix, demonstrated sustained double digit percentage growth in 2021 and 2022, then further increased revenue by over 100% in 2023, with staff numbers also increasing by 43% in the last two years.

Demonstrating a significant capital raise of £500 million, the Investment Deal of the Year Award recipient, Bruntwood SciTech, partnered with the UK’s largest local authority pension fund, Greater Manchester Pension Fund, to support the growth of the life science and tech sector. The deal was one of the most significant transactions in UK real estate in 2023.

The Outstanding Contribution Award recognises an exceptional individual who has made a significant contribution to the sector throughout their career. This year’s recipient was Liz Ashall-Payne, an accomplished healthcare leader and the Founding CEO of ORCHA, a global leader in digital health accreditation and distribution services. Liz is also an NHS England NIA alumni fellow, demonstrating her commitment to advancing innovation in healthcare. She actively contributes to the development of future healthcare leaders as a coach for the NHS England Clinical Entrepreneur Programme and serves as the Vice Chair on the Tech UK Health and Social Care Council, where she helps shape policies and initiatives in the intersection of technology and healthcare.

The final accolade of the night, the Company of the Year Award, represents a leading, globally formidable company which has demonstrated significant progress year on year whilst also demonstrating notable progress during the past 12 months. This honour went to Sterling Pharma Solutions, which secured further investors and investment and acquired new capabilities in 2023, and with growth in the UK and internationally, now boasts three sites in the UK, two in the US and one in Ireland, and is well-positioned to access key markets.

Commenting on an inspirational evening of celebration, Dr Geoff Davison, CEO of Bionow, said: “We were excited to welcome everyone back to the Concorde Conference Centre this year for a bumper crop of awards and shortlisted nominees, with three new categories commemorating achievements in business support, internationalisation and social impact. We had a great turnout this year with lots of buzz around the event, and I would like to congratulate all the nominees for making it so tough to pick a winner! This truly reflects the excellent work going on in the life sciences industry currently. 

Austin Clark, Founder & CCO of Entrust Resource Solutions presented the award on our behalf, he commented: “It was a pleasure  delivering the award and celebrating the incredible talent and innovation within the life science industry! Events like these are crucial for recognizing the hard work and dedication of individuals and organizations pushing the boundaries of science and technology.”

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