Wednesday night´s annual Night of CataloniaBio gala event convening some 250 entrepreneurs, executives, investors, and leading scientists from within the region of Catalonia, celebrated this year´s Biosuccess Award of the Year which was, for the first time, jointly granted to honor the milestones marked in 2016 by the top two nominated ventures.
Both VHIO Spin-Off Mosaic Biomedicals and STAT-Diagnostics were awarded for their exceptional entrepreneurship and bio-business development aimed at advancing healthcare and accelerating insights into the life sciences.These two companies have collectively succeeded in attracting international investment totaling at more than 72 million Euros.
Presented to Joan Seoane, Co-Founder of Mosaic Biomedicals, Member of its Directors and Scientific Advisory Boards, Director of Translational Research at VHIO, and ICREA Professor, and Judit Anido, Co-Founder and General Manager of the company, the 2017 prize recognizes the momentous merger of Mosaic with Northern Biologics Inc. (Toronto, Canada), officially announced towards the end of 2016, and the consequent promise of the accelerated clinical development of humanized antibody, MSC-1.
Pioneering research headed by Joan Seoane previously led to both establishing the role of leukemia inhibitor factor (LIF) in oncogenesis as a promoter of cancer progression by regulating the tumor microenvironment and inducing self-renewal in tumor-initiating cells, and his seminal discovery of MSC-1´s capacity to effectively target LIF. MSC-1´s transition to the clinic and translation into benefits at the bedside would thus represent a tremendous addition to our current arsenal of powerful anti-cancer weaponry.
It is thanks to the recent pairing with Northern Biologics Inc., the collective financial backing (amounting to 47M Euros), and belief from several other key investors including Versant, Caixa Captial Risc, as well as public funding previously received from the Retos de Colaboración program, ENISA, CDTI, ERC´s PoC, and private support from the initial Business Angels, that MSC-1 is at the point of entering in clinical trials across several tumor types this year, with multiple sites planned throughout Europe and North America.
“Importantly, through such rapid translation of scientific discovery into benefits for patients, our company will also act as a well-oiled economic engine returning value to the very society that invested in essential research against cancer. On behalf of us all at Mosaic, we are truly honored to have received this Award. Such recognition empowers us with additional momentum to further push the boundaries in cancer science towards improving cancer treatment and care,” commented VHIO´s Joan Seoane.
The other worthy winner on the night was the medical diagnostics company STAT-Diagnostics. Presented to its Co-Founders Jordi Carrera, who is also CEO of the company, and Rafel Bru, the Award recognized its rapid development and the closing of a series C financing round totaling at 25 million Euros – ranking as the highest transaction within the sector in Spain to-date. Led by Gilde Helathcare, the round also attracted participation from existing investors including Kurma Partners, Ysios Capital, Idinvest Partners, Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund, and Caixa Capital Risk.
These essential investments have fueled the development of STAT-Diagnostics´ pioneering DiagCORE platform – a fully integrated molecular and immunoassay diagnostics system promising an accelerated performance in order to improve clinical decision making, patient management, the advancement of diagnostics and improved classification of diseases, as well as significant savings to healthcare systems.
The 2017 Night of CataloniaBio, held at Barcelona´s Maritime Museum, hosted the crème de la crème of like-minded drivers behind the innovation and invention that spurs international investment in Catalonia´s renowned biocluster, and was presided by Andreu Mas-Colell, President of the Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology (BIST), alongside Ignasi Biosca, President of CataloniaBio, and CEO of the pharmaceutical company Reig Jofre.