OBN Awards – Announcement of 2020 Finalists

We are pleased to announce details of the companies that have been shortlisted to the final round of the 12th Annual OBN Awards, the most highly regarded awards event in the life sciences industry.    
Entry numbers were up again this year, and the first-round judges were impressed by the overall quality of the entries received and the number of new companies entering. 
Of particular note is the number of entries received in the ‘Best Established Biotech’ category, which rose to unprecedented levels. We have consequently decided to split out the Established Oncology companies into a new category for 2020, to allow as many different companies as possible to be celebrated on the night - details below.
The official judging panel will now assess the final entries, with the winners in each category announced live, and in-person at the OBN Awards, taking place on Thursday 26 November at the Royal Lancaster in London.
If you would like to join us on the night to celebrate the winners and nominees in all of our categories, we have both individual tickets and table packages still available. 
Full details on the venue, COVID safety information and the ticket booking site can be found here, but please do contact [email protected] if you would like to more information.
2020 OBN Award Finalists:
Best Start-up Biotech Company, Kindly sponsored by Penningtons Manches Cooper
  • Alchemab Therapeutics - Focused on discovering and developing novel therapeutics for patients with hard-to-treat diseases by harnessing the power of naturally protective antibodies
  • GyreOx - Create novel medicines addressing complex intra-cellular targets in a wide range of diseases
  • LUNAC Therapeutics - The first therapeutic company to be spun out of the University of Leeds, developing new first-in-class oral anticoagulant (anti-clotting agent) for the prevention of thrombosis
Best Emerging Biotech Company, Kindly sponsored by Thermo Fisher Scientific
  • OMass Therapeutics - An Oxford University spin-out that is harnessing high-resolution native mass spectrometry and other biophysical technologies to drive drug discovery in high definition for immunology and genetic disease
  • Inflazome - Identifying and developing potent, best-in-class, small molecule NLRP3 inhibitors as treatments for a broad range of inflammatory diseases
  • Microbiotica - Identifies gut bacteria linked to phenotype with unprecedented precision in order to discover and develop live bacterial therapeutics and biomarkers
  • Evox Therapeutics - Engineering exosomes to deliver protein and nucleic acid-based therapeutics to treat life-threatening rare diseases
Best Established Biotech Company 
  • Absolute Antibody - Have developed a proprietary manufacturing platform based on transient transfection for the production of sequenced and engineered antibodies, AbsoluteAbs (AbAbs)
  • C4X Discovery - Exploits cutting edge technologies to design and create small-molecule candidates in a range of therapeutic areas
  • Exscientia - Automates drug discovery and design processes leveraging artificial intelligence and big data
NEW CATEGORY: Best Established Biotech Company - Oncology
  • Adaptimmune - Focusing on the development of novel cancer cell therapy products for people with cancer. The company’s unique SPEAR (Specific Peptide Enhanced Affinity Receptor) T-cell platform enables the engineering of T-cells to target and destroy cancer across multiple solid tumors
  • Crescendo Biologics - Developing potent, multi-functional Humabody® therapeutics in Oncology with a proprietary pipeline focus on CB307, a unique targeted T cell engager
  • MiNA Therapeutics - Harnessing an innate mechanism of gene activation, their platform enables the development of new medicines that restore normal function to patients’ cells
Best Start-up Medtech Company  
  • Cirqle Biomedical - Have produced an innovative contraceptive, OUI, which is a vaginal capsule that after insertion rapidly reinforces the cervical mucus to prevent sperm migration
  • Oxford Brain Diagnostics - Using their breakthrough, patented technology, Cortical Disarray Measurement (CDM®), to develop accurate diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease and new assessments of disease progression and treatment response. Their approach extracts microscopic neurodegeneration data from MRI brain scans.
  • Panakeia Technologies  - Offers an AI-driven platform for rapid, instrument-free precision cancer diagnostics
Best Emerging Medtech Company Kindly sponsored by Milton Park
  • Owlstone Medical - Have developed the Breath Biopsy platform, using breath analysis for precision medicine and the early detection of disease
  • Enesi Pharma - An innovative company developing next generation solid dose vaccine products enabled by its ImplaVax® formulation and device technologies
  • Ultromics - Produces echocardiography software that enables healthcare providers to improve the diagnosis of coronary heart disease
Best Established Medtech Company 
  • Brainomix - Specializing in the creation of AI-powered software solutions to unlock the potential of life-saving treatments
  • Inivata - A leader in liquid biopsy, their InVision® platform unlocks essential genomic information from a simple blood draw to transform the care of cancer patients
  • Oxford Nanopore Technologies - Developing a novel generation of DNA/RNA sequencing technology to enable the analysis of any living thing, by anyone, anywhere
Most Transformative Digital Healthcare Company 
  • Orexo - Develop improved pharmaceuticals and digital therapies addressing unmet needs mainly within the growing space of addiction
  • Dignio - Enabling healthcare professionals to safely follow up patients at home. Their patient centric software is integrated with a variety of devices for health monitoring, and includes features like questionnaires, video, and self-management
  • Congenica - Enabling genomic medicine with the world’s leading clinical decision support platform for the rapid analysis and interpretation of genomic data
Best CRO 
  • Domainex - A fully integrated drug discovery service company, established in 2001, with a strong record of success, delivering on average one candidate drug every year for the past six years. Domainex provides a range of services including Fragment Based Drug Discovery (FBDD), Structure Based Drug Discovery (SBDD), medicinal, synthetic and analytical chemistry, assay development and screening, protein production and X-ray crystallography
  • Precision for Medicine - The the first global precision medicine full service clinical research organization, purpose-built to improve the clinical research and development process for new therapeutics. Our novel approach integrates clinical operations excellence, along with laboratory expertise, and advanced data sciences to inform every step. This maximizes our clients’ insight into patient biology, delivering more predictable trial outcomes and accelerating clinical development. We apply our expertise to trials at all stages—from early development through approval—with imbedded experience in oncology and rare disease. With over 2000 people and 35 offices worldwide, we stand ready to help accelerate life-changing treatments anywhere around the globe. 
  • Arcinova - An agile and flexible Contract Development and Manufacturing Organisation that serves pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies across the globe 
Best Business Support Organisation
  • The Biosphere - A specialist facility tailored to the commercialisation of life sciences and innovation, research and development in the North East of England’s regional and economic capital Newcastle
  • Bruntwood SciTech - Alderley Park - World class laboratories, workspace and scientific services with dedicated business support for R&D focused life science companies at every stage of their life-cycle, from start-ups to global corporates and national institutions
  • Start Codon - Is the only life science and healthcare business accelerator to provide a combination of business support services, seed funding, facilities, mentoring, access to a dedicated team and network of industry leading contacts, to drive the success of truly disruptive healthcare start-ups
The BioSeed 'One to Watch' Award, Kindly sponsored by BMG Labtech
  • Kinomica - Offer a suite of advanced proprietary bioinformatics and phosphoproteomics analytical methods that can provide direct activity measurements of multiple endogenous kinases and comprehensive cell signalling network coverage
  • Modulus Oncology - A spin-out company created by a founding team that includes scientists from the University of Sheffield (TUOS) and biotech entrepreneurs with successful track records in oncology, to develop first-in-class antagonists of a G protein-coupled receptor, the adrenomedullin 2 receptor (AM2R), for the treatment of cancer
  • PanCryos - Developing a best-in-class stem cell derived allogeneic cell therapy (PanINSULA™) for type 1 diabetes
The Most Impactful UK Deal
  • The Native Antigen Company - For their 2020 acquisition by LGC
  • Exonate - For their early stage deal with Johnson and Johnson to develop a novel kinase inhibitor as an eye drop for the treatment of retinal neovascular diseases
  • F2G -For their US $60.8 million equity financing led by new investor, Cowen Healthcare Investments

Please note: The winner of the ‘Special Recognition Award’, will be announced on the night of the OBN Awards on 26 November.
Congratulations to all our finalists - we look forward to celebrating with you.

Best wishes
The OBN team