Biotech leaders recognised by Industry Excellence Awards

  • Inaugural AusBiotech Life Sciences Legacy Award: Mr Chuck Feeney
  • AusBiotech and Johnson & Johnson Innovation Industry Excellence Awards
  • Industry Leadership Award: Sue MacLeman
  • Company of the Year: PolyNovo
  • Emerging Company of the Year: OncoRes Medical
  • Industry Excellence Awards were announced today at the AusBiotech 2019 national conference in Melbourne. The AusBiotech and Johnson & Johnson Innovation Industry Excellence Awards recognise innovative companies and individuals in Australia’s world-class biotechnology, medical technology and healthcare sectors.

    Mr Chuck Feeney was also awarded the inaugural AusBiotech Life Sciences Legacy Award in recognition of his tremendous and unprecedented support of the Australian life sciences ecosystem across many decades.

    AusBiotech’s Chief Executive Officer, Lorraine Chiroiu, said: “The extraordinary achievements that these individuals and companies have contributed to the health of Australians, and to the growth of the sector is invaluable. The Awards act as a celebration of the innovation excellence happening across the country, and demonstrate what can be achieved when leadership, passion, technical expertise, and business acumen unite.”

    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.”

    More on the 2019 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.

    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.

    Additional quotes

    Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said she was delighted Mr Feeney was being honoured with the AusBiotech Life Sciences Legacy Award. “His Atlantic Philanthropies investment in Queensland totals around $300 million, supporting the development of some of our most iconic scientific infrastructure, including the world-renowned Queensland Brain Institute, the QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, the Institute for Health and Biomedical Innovation, and the Translational Research Institute,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

    “Chuck’s contribution to the development of higher education, scientific and research infrastructure in Queensland has been nothing short of game-changing and Queensland will forever be grateful.”

    Mr Feeney was recognised earlier this year with an honorary Queensland Greats Award for his invaluable contribution to Queensland.

    Hon Peter Beattie AC, Former Premier of Queensland, said, “The partnership my government’s Smart State strategy enjoyed with Chuck Feeney reshaped biotechnology research in Queensland. The legacy of his investments left world class research institutions producing outcomes which are savings lives. His selfless philanthropic investments are the largest in Australian history. He was one of the most inspirational people I have ever worked with.”

    Hon John Bumby AO, Former Premier of Victoria, said, “Chuck Feeney is a believer… a believer in the power of medical research and life sciences to change lives for the better. His contribution to the sector in Victoria has been immense and transformational. We are all indebted to Chuck for his great sense of optimism, his generosity and his vision.”

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