Lab Canada

Gold Leaf awards salute biotechnology industry leaders

Ottawa, ON – The 2008 winners of the Gold Leaf awards were announced this week in Ottawa by BIOTECanada. Nominated and judged by biotech industry leaders, the awards honour companies and individuals who demonstrated leadership, innovation and financial success in 2007.

Edmonton-based BioMS Medical, developer of a drug for multiple sclerosis, took top honours as company of the year. “BioMS Medical clearly stood out to the selection committee,” said Rainer Engelhardt, BIOTECanada’s chairman. “With the largest Canadian deal ever with Eli Lilly and Company this company has successfully built a Canadian trial medication into a drug ready for the global market.”

The early stage company award went to Xenon Pharmaceuticals for its novel pain molecules in development, and to Lignol Energy for its development of fuel-grade ethanol and biochemicals from forest biomass. “Both of these leading firms are stellar examples of Canadian innovative thinking, research and development,” said Peter Brenders, BIOTECanada’s president and CEO. “Once commercialized, their products will make a significant contribution to Canada’s economy.”

The association also awarded a national industry leadership award to Dr John Evans, founding chairman of the innovative MaRS Discovery District commercialization hub in Toronto; and an award for association leadership to Deborah Brown, president of EMD Serono Canada, for her leadership in creating the BIOTECanada Industry Ethics Guidelines, to which all members subscribe.

“As one of the fathers of Canadian biotechnology, Dr. John Evans’ personal leadership has been seminal in inspiring those of us who work in biotechnology today,” said Peter Brenders. “It is a rare privilege for BIOTECanada to be able to honour his contribution with this year’s Industry Leadership Award.”

Awards are judged by the BIOTECanada board of directors on the basis of strict criteria. The newly rebranded awards are presented annually by BIOTECanada. Forty-five nominations for thirty-two nominees were received this year.