When Umeå's big business gala was held on November 7, three of twelve awards went to life science.
"Previously, life science had a relatively hidden role in Umeå – but during this year's Umeågala we have proven that we are an industry that has great potential", says Jennie Ekbeck, CEO of Umeå Biotech Incubator.
The Umeågala has been organized for 16 years and has around 900 guests annually. During the gala, successful companies and entrepreneurs are celebrated and twelve prizes are awarded. Historically, relatively few awards have gone to life science companies – primarily Nordic Biomarker has been awarded prizes, including Årets Tillväxtföretag – Growth Company of the Year.
However, at this year's gala, three of twelve awards went to life science companies linked to Umeå Biotech Incubator.
"We had three nominations and got all the winnings", says Jennie Ekbeck.
Inficure Bio, which has developed a model for combating fibrosis and has gotten several major international contracts during the year, was awarded the prize New Company of the Year – and UmanDiagnostics received the awards Technology Prize and the Year's Spin-off Company.
"It is fantastic and honorable that our work to fight fibrosis is noticed. We are a small and fairly newly started company and the award show that with a strong team and a good idea you can go far", says Sofia Mayans, CEO of Inficure Bio and co-founder of the company with Dan Holmberg.
UmanDiagnostics works with a nerve injury marker to more easily detect brain damage and neurological disorders. At the beginning of the summer, the company was sold to US major company Quanterix for $ 22.5 million. However, UmanDiagnostics will remain in Umeå and has since hired several new employees.
"Winning in such widely different categories as the Technology Prize and the Year's Spin-off Company means tremendously to UmanDiagnostics. It's a confirmation that we have invested correctly. The ability to diagnose neurological diseases and concussions at an early stage is very central when it comes to using the right medication and giving the patient an improved quality of life", says Niklas Norgren, CEO of UmanDiagnostics.
Umeå Biotech Incubator has set the goal of doubling the SMEs in life science in Västerbotten in ten years.
"With the awards at this year's Umeågala, we feel that we are well on our way. The industry is growing and the entire business community in the region is starting to notice all that happens in life science in Umeå. It is a bubbling, innovative pot that reaches far beyond Sweden's borders", says Jennie Ekbeck.
For more information, please contact:
CEO of Umeå Biotech Incubator
+46 90-15 49 77
PhD, CEO of Inficure Bio
+46 70-366 46 66
CEO of UmanDiagnostics
+46 90-77 78 80
Umeå Biotech Incubator (UBI) is one of Sweden’s state-of-the-art business incubators within the life sciences. We help researchers to use their data to the benefit of patients and citizens, improving their health. We support and train entrepreneurs in the fields of pharmaceuticals, diagnostics and medical engineering, and act as a bridge between academia, medicine and the business community.