Dunedin bioscience company Pacific Edge, the winner of last year's Supreme Award at the New Zealand Innovator Awards and creator of the cancer detection test CXBladder, has been honoured as best bioscience company at the NZBIO Conference.
"Pacific Edge is doing a tremendous amount to raise the profile and credibility of listed biotech companies in New Zealand,” says Dr George Slim, NZBIO CEO.
The company entered the NZX50 recently after its share price more than doubled. Dr Paul Tan was a fellow honoree, named top biotechnologist for 2014.
Tan chaired NZBIO in 2013 and is now an independent consultant to several biotechnology companies in New Zealand. He's worked in a range of roles in the sector in the past 20 years.
He was managing director of Living Cell Technologies in 2004, its CEO from 2008 to 2010 and again medical officer for a year in 2013.
He's also been CEO of CenTech and the deputy director and head of research at Genesis Research and Development from 1994 to 2002, where he managed the intellectual property programme, patent filings and clinical trials.
The Ferrier Research Institute (FRI) won best innovation award for its work on developing an orally available triple-negative breast cancer drug. FRI is based at Victoria University in Wellington, led by Peter Tyler and Gary Evans, and is responsible for the design and synthesis of potent inhibitor compounds.
“FRI has developed a number of potent inhibitors of enzymes involved in diseases,” Slim says. “This latest one affects fast growing cells such as in breast cancer and has been licensed to an award winning company in the US who will bring it to market.”