Advanced Therapies Award Winners Announced, with Special Dedications
23 January 2023
The inaugural, annual Advanced Therapies Awards was hosted at Advanced Therapies Week in Miami this year, celebrating success from across the cell and gene therapy landscape.
There was palpable excitement on Thursday, January 19 as Advanced Therapies Week attendees donned their tuxedoes and cocktail dresses for a night of 1920s-themed revelry.
The event was kicked off by Phacilitate’s own Kim Barnes, followed by Anshul Mangal, President of Project Farma and Precision Advance, both stressing the importance of celebrating success in the Advanced Therapies Industry.
Following a short raffle presentation, hosted in partnership with Charity partner, Music Beats Cancer, celebrity host, Andy Buckley, kicked off a comedy set that had fans of The Office in stitches. Personally, receiving a business card from ‘David Wallace’ was an extra special touch on the evening, but we haven’t even gotten to the part everyone had been waiting for…
The awards started with the presentation of the Lifetime Achievement Award, this year awarded to Dr Carl June for his work in the development of the CAR-T therapy that cured not only industry-known names such as Bill Ludwig and Emily Whitehead – who this year celebrated 10 years ‘cancer-free’ – but a subsequent 1,500+ patients around the world. Tom Whitehead presented the award, commenting on Dr June’s simultaneous ‘hero’ and ‘friend’ status within his family, and the honor he felt in being able to present the award itself.
In preparation for presenting this award, the Phacilitate team interviewed colleagues, patients and parents impacted by Dr June’s work, for a film summarizing his lifelong commitment to the development of CAR-T. Watch the video presented at the awards, below, or watch the full Director’s Cut, here.
Following a short acceptance speech from Dr June, the industry awards ceremony commenced!
Young Scientist Award
The first award of the evening – the Young Scientist Award – was presented to Lucia Sereni by Dr Stuart Lowe, Head of Biotech, Cell and Gene at TTP, celebrating ‘a person who has contributed significant research to the field of cell and gene therapy’.
Shortlisted nominees included Yan Leyfman, Angela Yen, Lucia Fernandez, Thomas Williams and Tania Pereira-Chilima.
Patient Advocacy Award – Corporate Organizations
AdaptImmune was presented with the Patient Advocacy Award in the Corporate Organizations category by Teresa Pokladowski, Regional VP, Clinical Business Solutions at Precision for Medicine. This award was given to a winning company who demonstrably places the patient at the heart of their development, ensuring the patient comes first.
Shortlisted nominees included AmerisourceBergen, Cellatoz, Be the Match, Salve Therapeutics and Vita Therapeutics.
Patient Advocacy Award – Not for Profit
Cleveland Cord Blood Center was presented with the Patient Advocacy Award in the Not for Profit category by Louisa Petropoulos, from C3I, for fostering awareness for cell and gene therapies and supporting those going through treatment.
Other shortlisted nominees included: Alliance for Cancer Gene Therapy, Americans for Cures, California Institute for Regenerative Medicine and Rare Advocacy Movement.
Manufacturing Tech Disruptor of the Year
Wuxi Advanced Therapies was presented with the Manufacturing Tech Disruptor of the Year Award by Phacilitate’s own David Green, with presenters commenting on the stiff competition for recognition in this area. 38 submissions were received and judges had a tough time deciding on a winner, passing on huge congratulations to the shortlisted companies.
The shortlisted nominees included Cellares, Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology, Invetech, Exactmer, Luminary Therapeutics, MasterControl, National Resilience, Oxford Biomedica Solutions and Stoic Bio.
Sustainability Initiative of the Year
Awarded to Title 21, this award recognizes sustainable development in the cell and gene therapy industry through innovative and sustainable use of resources and prioritizes the needs of the wider environment and society.
Shortlisted nominees included Qiagen and Stoic Bio.
DE&I Initiative of the Year
The penultimate award of the evening was awarded to Center for Breakthrough Medicines for initiating and leading action to remove barriers and improve the working experience and engagement levels of their employees.
Shortlisted nominees included Alliance for Regenerative Medicine, Rocket Pharma, Forge Biologics and Atara Bio.
Biotech Innovation Award
The final award to be presented this evening was the Biotech Innovation Award, which was awarded to Iovance Bioteherapeutics, recognizing biotech championing therapeutic innovation in cell and gene therapy.
Shortlisted nominees included Aspen Neuroscience, AvroBio, Forge Biologics, Iovance Biotherapeutics and Mayo Clinic Orthopedics and Sports Medicine.
And a Special Dedication…
Following the presentation of the final industry award, Kim Barnes rejoined the stage to announce a new award for next year, the Simon Ellison Supply Chain Innovation Award, in memory of the late, great Simon Ellison.
The Phacilitate team spent some time interviewing Simon’s colleagues and family to share a short glimpse as to why we feel it so important to be celebrating supply chain disruptors and innovators in his name, which you can watch below. As with Dr June’s video above, we will be building a larger ‘Director’s Cut’ video, so please watch this space to find out more about Simon, his impact on this industry, and the legacy he holds in many different areas of his life. We would like to thank everyone involved in putting together this video – it was a truly emotional experience for myself and the team, and we’d like to think we’ve done him proud in celebrating future innovation in this area of the field, in his name.
On a lighter note, the evening ended with celebration as the hall took to the dancefloor to dance the night away. You’d think an evening on the yacht the night before would slow us down, but no – not this bunch!
Lee Buckler, SVP Advanced Therapies, Blood Centers of America, Advanced Therapies Network, reflects on two decades of working within the advanced therapies industry as Phacilitate celebrates 20 years of operating in the field.