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Aortyx, a spinoff of IQS that specializes in creating endovascular devices for aortic dissections, won the first annual Àlex Casta Awards for the best pitch in the BioRegion. The company’s CEO Jordi Martorell accepted the award at a ceremony held as part of the presentation of BioRegion of Catalonia Life Sciences and Healthcare Outlook 2020: Challenges Ahead, a report compiled by Biocat and CataloniaBio & HealthTech with collaboration from Amgen, at a Forum that received support from the European platform EATRIS.  

The four finalists in the competition were Alfons Carnicero, CEO and co-founder of ABLE Human Motion; Judit Cubero, co-founder and CEO of Glycardial Diagnostics; Valerie Vanhooren, co-founder and CEO of Ona Therapeutics, and Natalia Adler, CEO of Pebble Analytics. The audience attended the event virtually and voted live for the best pitch, which received the award from journalist Cristina Riba, Àlex Casta’s wife.

Aortyx won a prize worth €5,000: €2,500 in cash and €2,500 in consultancy hours, thanks to the support of Genesis Biomed, plus a commemorative trophy provided by UPF Ventures and a 1-year membership to the CataloniaBio & HealthTech association.

Promoting talent in the BioRegion

The Àlex Casta Awards are a joint initiative of the ecosystem in memory of Dr. Àlex Casta, a renowned professional in the Catalan life sciences and healthcare sector who died in December 2018. Casta was the director of UPF Ventures and had previously held leadership positions at Biocat and Caixa Capital Risc, as well as founding the startup RadisMed. There were 28 candidates in the first edition of the awards paying tribute to him, from which the panel of judges chooses 5 finalists based on criteria like innovative and differential advantage of the project, potential market and social impact.

These awards aim to recognize the best pitch in the BioRegion and promote talent, raise awareness and incentivize entrepreneurship in the life sciences and healthcare ecosystem in Catalonia. In short, to carry on Casta’s guiding philosophy, which Riba highlighted during the awards ceremony. “I hope the trophy reinforces the values that defined Àlex: hard work, perseverance, drive, commitment to improving people’s lives and always adding, contributing and collaborating, with a positive, proactive attitude,” she said.

Watch the finals of the Àlex Casta Awards again
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