Winners of the Biotechnology YES Regional Competitions - (2000 competition)
The five finalists in the Postgraduate/Postdoctoral Biotechnology Young Entrepreneurs Scheme (Biotechnology YES) 2000 Competition have been announced. Teams from the Universities of Cambridge, Edinburgh, Oxford and Leicester were selected at the regional workshops held during October in Newbury, Edinburgh and Nottingham.
DERMASCREEN (University of Leicester) presenting their idea
to the panel of judges in the Central Regional Workshop.
The five regional winners will meet at the Competition finals in London on December 18th. The twenty-eight teams in the competition developed plans for an imaginary start-up biotechnology company following talks from industry experts and advice from a group of experienced mentors. The winning business proposals produced commercialisation strategies embracing a range of technologies including: a rapid diagnostic kit to detect melanoma; a novel drug delivery implant that effects responsive, controlled therapeutic delivery; and a novel technology to prevent an allergic reaction to gluten.
Dr Doug Yarrow, Director of the Business Innovation and International Group at BBSRC, said "This is my fourth year as a judge at YES regional workshops. Whilst the quality of the presentations and enthusiasm of the participants has always been high, I feel that this years competition has been the best ever, perhaps reflecting the quality of the UK bioscience base and the increasingly entrepreneurial attitude of our young scientists." BBSRC are the main sponsors of the Postgraduate Biotechnology YES Competition.
PHAGENE Therapeutics (University of Nottingham)
presenting their idea to the panel of judges
in the Central Regional Workshop.
"This was my third year in a row of judging the business plan competition and I continue to be impressed by the time, effort and enthusiasm that had gone into the projects. Good scientific ideas do not automatically equate with a good business opportunity and the routes to commercialisation and the issues to be dealt with were generally well understood. I hope the participants will have benefited from the experience and that some will see that business is the medium for them to exploit both their scientific and obvious entrepreneurial talent." said Peter Keen, of Merlin Biosciences.
Teams selected for the 2000 finals are:
- ALLERNOVA (University of Cambridge) - a novel technology to prevent an allergic reaction to gluten.
- BEACON DIAGNOSTICS (University of Oxford) - a novel diagnostic tool.
- COLOURBAC SYSTEMS (University of Edinburgh) - a spray based detection system demonstrating bacterial contamination on surfaces by an immediate visible colour change.
- PHARMASENSE (University of Edinburgh) - a novel drug delivery implant that effects responsive, controlled therapeutic delivery.
- DERMASCREEN (University of Leicester) - rapid diagnosis of melanoma using a monoclonal antibody based kit.
The five teams that came second in the regional competitions were:
- EXTREMOGEN (The Queen's University of Belfast) - to exploit the untapped potential of micro organisms from extreme environments for the development of novel bioproducts and biocatalysts.
- SIGNULL (University of Cambridge) - a technology designed to disrupt bacterial communication rendering them less virulent and making them more susceptible to existing antibiotics.
- METAFLOW (University of Cambridge) - a platform technology that uses the precise ordering of molecules which will be exploited to produce combinatorial libraries of great therapeutic use.
- EPITOPE TECHNOLOGIES (University of Warwick) - an invitro system for the production of polyclonal antibodies.
- PHAGENE THERAPEUTICS (University of Nottingham) - the use of bacteriophage to deliver a novel antisense molecule to specific Gram-negative bacteria and inhibit growth.
The ideas developed by the teams participating in Biotechnology YES build on existing technology which is in the public domain or are based on hypothetical scenarios.