Biotech’s leading lights recognised at annual Awards

Industry Excellence Awards were announced today at the AusBiotech 2019 national conference in Melbourne. The Awards recognise innovative companies and individuals leading the way 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.

For the first time, the AusBiotech Life Sciences Legacy Award was presented, in recognition of tremendous and unprecedented support of the Australian life sciences ecosystem across many decades.

Congratulations to 2019’s AusBiotech Life Sciences Legacy Award winner: Mr Chuck Feeney; and to AusBiotech and Johnson & Johnson Innovation Industry Excellence Award winners: Sue MacLeman,  Chair, MTP Connect; Chair, Anatara Lifesciences Ltd; Chair of Novita Healthcare Ltd, winner of the Industry Leadership Award, PolyNovo, winner of the Company of the Year award, and to OncoRes Medical, winner of the Emerging Company of the Year.

Ms Lorraine Chiroiu, CEO, AusBiotech says, “The extraordinary achievements that these individuals and companies have contributed to the health of Australians, and to the growth of the sector is invaluable.”

Ms Kathy Connell, Senior Director New Ventures, ANZ, Johnson & Johnson Innovation, who announced the Awards, said: “Johnson & Johnson Innovation is delighted to sponsor these Awards for the seventh consecutive year. These awards recognise the important and noble work that’s occurring in Australian biotechnology to advance biomedical research and healthcare innovation for people all around the world.”

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Inaugural AusBiotech Life Sciences Legacy Award:  Mr Chuck Feeney

Mr Chuck Feeney’s profoundly visionary, transformational and impactful contributions to the Australian life sciences innovation ecosystem has helped deliver more than 20 outstanding research facilities across Australia. Significantly, these research facilities have in turn acted as Australia’s innovation engine rooms for future generations of scientists, entrepreneurs, healthcare workers and philanthropists alike, all dedicated to delivering better healthcare options and outcomes to people globally.

It is without doubt that Mr Feeney’s vision, commitment and generosity towards Australia’s life sciences sector over the past decades will continue to form the bedrock of future generations of Australian life science leaders, innovators and industry for many more decades to come.

The inaugural AusBiotech Life Sciences Legacy Award was accepted on behalf of Mr Chuck Feeney by Dr Dave Kennedy, Founder,

AusBiotech and Johnson & Johnson Innovation Industry Excellence Award winners

Industry Leadership Award:  Sue MacLeman, Chair, MTP Connect; Chair, Anatara Lifesciences Ltd; Chair of Novita Healthcare Ltd

Sue MacLeman has over 30 years’ experience in the medtech, biotech and pharma sector. She has worked in leadership roles for global pharmaceutical companies such as Amgen, Schering-Plough, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Mesoblast as well as SME’s. Most recently she was instrumental in the establishment and leadership of MTPConnect, the  Industry Growth Centre working to accelerate the rate of growth of Australia’s MTP sector, where she served as the inaugural Managing Director and CEO before transitioning to become the organisation’s Chair in October 2018.

Sue is also Chair of Anatara Lifesciences Ltd (ASX:ANR), and Novita Healthcare Ltd (ASX:NHL), and Non-Executive Director of Palla Pharma Ltd (ASX:PAL), Oventus Medical Ltd (ASX:OVN) and veski. Sue has also been appointed to several academic and government advisory committees.

Company of the Year:  PolyNovo

PolyNovo, led by Paul Brennan, Chief Executive Officer, has commercialised a unique bio-resorbable polymer, NovoSorb, for use in medical devices. The first product is NovoSorb BTM, a dermal scaffold, for the regeneration of lost dermis through surgical excision, truama, infection or burns. BTM is now on sale in Australia, New Zealand, USA, South Africa, India, Saudi Arabia, Israel, and soon Europe/UK. Five years ago the company had five people, a market cap of $30m and no accredited production facility. Today it has a fully accredited cleanroom production facility, employs 60 staff, secured its place in ASX 200, industry analyst have estimated PolyNovo will archive $22-$26M* revenues this financial year and a market cap of $1.4b.
* Evans & Partners, EC Baillieu, Macquarie

Emerging Company of the Year:  OncoRes Medical

OncoRes Medical, led by Dr Kath Giles, CEO and Managing Director, is an innovative medtech company that has made great strides in its short life since it was founded in late 2016. Based on technology from the University of Western Australia, the Harry Perkins Institute and a leading WA breast cancer surgeon, OncoRes Medical is developing a hand held, real time device to monitor the margin of tumours during breast conservation surgery and is on track to deliver significant patient impacts. The probe will help surgeons delineate cancerous tissue, with the aim of cutting down the amount of follow-up surgery required by women with breast cancer. Around 65% of women only need to have the lump removed as opposed to the whole breast.

OncoRes Medical recently won a Tech 23 award as well as the MedTech Innovator Value Award at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati’s 27th Annual Medical Device Conference.