Aberdeen wins two prestigious life science 'Oscars'

Two businesses developed out of University of Aberdeen research have won prestigious life science 'Oscars'.

Novabiotics Ltd and Ripptide Pharma Ltd both picked up prizes at the 16th annual Scottish Enterprise Life Science Awards during a ceremony on Thursday night.

Novabiotics Ltd was named Investment of the Year, whilst, Ripptide Pharma Ltd won the Innovation of the Year Award.

NovaBiotics Ltd is a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on the design and development of first-in-class anti-infectives for difficult-to-treat, medically unmet diseases. The company was founded by Dr Deborah O’Neill and Professor Andrew Porter is a member of the board.

Ripptide Ltd have developed a revolutionary new method for creating a new class of therapeutic drugs, called macrocycles, which are complex to create and can address a large number of poorly treated conditions. Ripptide was co-founded by Professor Marcel Jaspars from the University of Aberdeen and Professor Jim Naismith from the University of St Andrews. The pair have worked with company director and business builder Bill Primrose of Ithaka Life Sciences, who picked up the award on the company’s behalf.

The Scottish Life Sciences Awards recognise the achievements of individuals, companies and research organisations within the Scottish life sciences sector over the year.

Dr Ann Lewendon from the University of Aberdeen’s Research & Innovation department said: “I’m delighted for both our winners tonight. These awards celebrate Scotland’s most dynamic life sciences companies, so it is testament to the hard work and expertise of both the teams that they’ve been recognised by their peers.

“This reinforces the University of Aberdeen’s commitment to making a difference to society with impactful research.”

The wins are timely, coming just a week after the Aberdeen City Deal which will provide funding for, among other sectors, the region’s maturing biotechnology industry.  

University of Aberdeen Principal and Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Ian Diamond said: “I am delighted to hear of these latest successes at the Scottish Enterprise Life Science Awards. The University of Aberdeen is a cornerstone of Aberdeen's biotech prowess and is developing the next generation of biomedical entrepreneurs. We are delighted to see further support for this important sector through the City Deal.”

Julia Brown, senior director of life and chemical sciences at Scottish Enterprise said: "Congratulations to this year’s winners. The quality of the finalists and winners were outstanding and is testament to the strength of the skills pool that makes up the Scottish life sciences industry."

Another University of Aberdeen spin out company, SIRAKOSS Ltd, made it through to the final four in the Investment of the Year category.

The award ceremony took place at the National Museum of Scotland on Thursday February 4. 

The event attracts the leading players in Scotland’s life sciences sector: policy makers, investors, academic leaders and companies that are all building on Scotland’s outstanding life sciences legacy.