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Advanced biotechnology company Regenear was recognized with the fourth BioEmprenedorXXI Award for the best innovative business project in the life sciences sector, which was given out yesterday during the Biocat Forum in Barcelona, the yearly meeting of the biotechnology, biomedicine and medical technology sector in Catalonia.

Regenear, founded in 2010, is a groundbreaking biomedical company whose mission is to develop the first biokits for three-dimensional regeneration of facial cartilage using the patient’s own cells. Regeneration of cartilage is a definitive solution when facial cartilage implants are required, like in cases when patients need reconstructive surgery due to birth defects or trauma accidents, as well as in plastic surgery to augment or alter ear, nose or chin shape. Second Deputy Mayor for Economy, Enterprise and Employment with the Barcelona City Council Sònia Recasens presented the award to Agata Gelabertó, representing Regenear.

The BioEmprenedorXXI Awards are promoted by Barcelona Activa, Biocat, the Barcelona Chamber of Commerce, "la Caixa" and Genoma España. This year, the awards also received economic support from Almirall and collaboration from the Barcelona Science Park (BSP), which will provide the winning project and two runners-up access to their technology platforms.

The fourth BioEmprenedorXXI Award, with an economic endowment of €20,000, is part of the BioEmprenedorXXI program, which aims to help participants start up their own company through a series of training activities and feasibility analyses for their business projects. Thus, the endowment also includes a variety of training actions at the University of Cambridge and the Biocat Biocápsulas program; internationalization actions, like participating in a international benchmark fair for the sector; and support actions in the areas of communication and incubation, like a six-month stay at the Glòries incubator (Barcelona Activa) and one-year access to the BSP technology platforms.

For Agata Gilabertó, of Regenear, this award "confirms the potential of our proposal and is a great incentive for us. Winning the BioEmprenedor XXI award provides both support and prestige for our project. It is a platform for raising awareness and increasing projection that is key at this time when we are seeking investors to move our company forward.”

Endoasic Technologies and Minoryx Therapeutics, runners-up

The BioEmprenedorXXI Awards also recognized Endoasic Technologies as the first runner-up and Minoryx Therapeutics as the second runner-up, with €10,000 and €5,000, respectively, in addition to access to training activities and participation in benchmark congresses in the sector.

Endoasic Technologies is a technology-based spin-off of the University of Barcelona devoted to designing and marketing new devices and semiconductor chips. The Endoasic Technologies projects focuses on producing endoscopic capsules —which patients swallow as if they were pills— for screening and clinical diagnostic of gastrointestinal cancer.

Second runner-up, Minoryx Therapeutics, is a company focusing on the discovery and development of new drugs, prioritizing rare pediatric diseases such as genetic metabolic illnesses and muscular diseases.

All three projects were selected by a panel of independent experts from the 15 that participated in the program (selected from the 29 total presented in the 2011 call for proposals). From the second edition in 2009 through the fourth in 2011, nearly one hundred applications have been presented, 48 of which have participated in the program, 41 have created a business plan and 25 have actually started up companies.

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