Biotech finalists in our Entrepreneurial Science and Technology Awards

PUBLISHED: 00:16 12 July 2017 | UPDATED: 00:34 12 July 2017

Meet the biotech finalists in our awards

Meet the biotech finalists in our awards


Brilliant biotech start-ups will compete for the prize.

Our award winners will be announced on September 21Our award winners will be announced on September 21

Following a brilliant set of entries to the biotech category of the Cambridge Independent’s inaugural Entrepreneurial Science and Technology Awards, the judges have picked the following finalists. The winners of our awards will be announced on September 21 at the Venturefest East businesss showcase event at Newmarket Racecourse.

AstraZeneca will provide a mentoring prize to the winning start-up.


Dr Su Metcalfe, of LIFNanoRxDr Su Metcalfe, of LIFNanoRx

Could a cure for multiple sclerosis be around the corner?

Set to enter clinical trials in 2020, LIFNano aims to revolutionise treatment for the debilitating auto-immune disease.

Pioneered by Dr Sue Metcalfe, who co-owns the patents with Yale University, the LIFNano product combines the power of nanomedicine with leukaemia inhibitory factor (LIF) - a critical stem cell signalling protein that occurs naturally and has the power to switch back on the body’s own repair system.

Four finalists have been selected in this categoryFour finalists have been selected in this category

It also suppresses disease-linked inflammation, meaning that psoriasis, diabetes and dementia are on the roadmap for this exciting company.


Judges were impressed by the high standard of entriesJudges were impressed by the high standard of entries

Quethera is focusing on gene therapies for high unmet medical needs.

Its current therapeutic focus is glaucoma, the most common cause of irreversible blindness worldwide. Despite access to state-of-the art ophthalmic diagnosis and effective treatments to address elevated intraocular pressure, around one in eight patients will progress to blindness. Quethera has recently developed a novel gene therapy construct that looks highly promising in animal models of glaucoma and aims to move to clinical trials involving patients in the next few years. The product has the potential to slow or halt the progression of glaucoma, which can significantly affect quality of life.


The winner of the biotech start-up category will receive mentoring advice from AstraZenecaThe winner of the biotech start-up category will receive mentoring advice from AstraZeneca

CEO Fiona Nielsen gave up a good position at a prestigious biotech firm to start up this social enterprise because she witnessed the need for data accessibility. With human genomic data sitting in silos and data sources around the world, researchers are typically aware of only five data sources around the globe when in fact there are hundreds.

Repositive has now built the world’s largest portal for human genomic research data.

It provides researchers with access to more than one million datasets in one single search and is building a community-driven platform, allowing users to collaborate and gain acknowledgement of their contributions.

Keith Blundy, of Storm TherapeuticsKeith Blundy, of Storm Therapeutics

STORM Therapeutics

This University of Cambridge spin-out translates the ground-breaking work of Professors Tony Kouzarides and Eric Miska in RNA epigenetics into the discovery of small molecule drugs to treat cancer and other diseases. It is the world’s first company to focus on modulating RNA modifying enzymes and has progressed the founding discovery programmes rapidly to screening and early chemistry. From its base at Babraham Research Campus, the company is led by CEO Keith Blundy, formerly CEO of Cancer Research Technology.

Eric Miska and Tony Kouzarides, of Storm TherapeuticsEric Miska and Tony Kouzarides, of Storm Therapeutics

Our judges, sponsors and supporters

The judging panel consisted of Charles Cotton, of Cambridge Phenomenon, Hermann Hauser, of Amadeus Capital Partners, Julia Gwilt, of Appleyard Lees, Nick Sayer, of Woodfines Solicitors, Caroline Austin, of AstraZeneca, Lindsey Copland, of Grant Thornton, and Cambridge Independent editor Paul Brackley, who chaired the panel.

The sponsors for our awards are: Appleyard Lees, Woodfines Solicitors, Grant Thornton and Regus.

Supporters of the awards are: the World Nano Foundation, World Science Aid and Enabling Tech Capital.

Other categories

We have also selected finalists in artificial intelligence, cleantech, fintech and medtech categories - details coming soon.

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