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Biotechnology firm Avizorex Pharma, a spin-off with headquarters at the Barcelona Science Park and the UMH Science and Business Park (Valencian Community), has won the Emprenedor XXI Award in the life sciences category, edging out the other finalists Enzymlogic (Madrid) and Transplant Biomedicals (Barcelona).

Considered one of the benchmark awards for start-ups in Spain, the Emprenedor XXI Awards –an initiative promoted by “la Caixa” through Caixa Capital Risc and awarded jointly by the Ministry of the Economy, Industry and Competitiveness through Enisa– has chosen the best of 545 companies in five categories: the life sciences, information technology, digital business, agrifood and industrial technology.

The five winners, including Avizorex, will receive €25,000 in cash and free access to the Peer-to-Peer Advisory Board for six months. These monthly meetings are led by a coach who will guide the general managers through the process of establishing a growth strategy for the company.

They will also be able to participate in a guidance program valued at €25,000 with activities adapted to suit each company’s needs and stage of development with “preferential” access to funding from Caixa Capital Risc and Enisa. Plus, the runners-up in each category will also have access to the guidance program.

Avizorex Pharma, founded in 2013 by Patrick Tresserras (currently CEO) and professor and founder of the Neurosciences Institute of Alicante Carlos Belmonte, is developing new drugs for dry-eye syndrome. The company’s drug candidate aims to treat dry eyes instead of just alleviating the symptoms, like the drugs currently available on the market, by encouraging natural eye lubrication. The company participated in the 2013 edition of the BioEmprenedorXXI program, an initiative of Barcelona Activa, Biocat and the “la Caixa” Foundation. 

New this year, the Emprenedor XXI Awards have recognized Sanifit and BMAT for their successful progress in business after winning previous editions. Biopharmaceutical firm Sanifit won the Emprenedor XXI Award in the Balearic Islands in 2009.


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