EDMONTON, Alberta–(BUSINESS WIRE)–BioAlberta announced the recipients of its 2022 Achievement Awards in recognition of the outstanding contributions of individuals and companies whose innovations and achievements have contributed to the growing success of Alberta’s life sciences sector. The awards were presented September 27 at BioAlberta’s annual Health and Life Sciences Showcase & Award Ceremony in Calgary.
BioAlberta Annual Achievement Awards
“Our life sciences sector is expanding rapidly, and the 2022 honorees demonstrate Alberta’s growing ability to accelerate and develop new technologies that are both sustainable and scalable to produce real-world solutions with a global impact,” said Robb Stoddard, President and CEO of BioAlberta.
Company of the year 2022 – future fields
This award recognizes a company that has demonstrated significant success in the Alberta marketplace and business community through strong performance or leadership.
“Future Fields’ EntoEngine™ platform is the first to harness the genetic capabilities of fruit flies to produce the most environmentally and economically sustainable biomolecules on earth,” said Nuzhat Tam Zaman, co-founder of Sinoveda/Co-Chairman of the Board from BioAlberta. “It is our honor, Dr. Recognizing Future Fields co-founders Matt Anderson-Baron and Jalene Anderson-Baron and their team for their dedication to producing sustainable ingredients for science through insect biotechnology.”
Future Fields uses fruit flies to make the most sustainable recombinant proteins on earth. EntoEngine™ – their recombinant protein production platform harnesses the genetic prowess of Drosophila melanogaster, amplifying it with state-of-the-art synthetic biology and scaling up with the tremendous efficiencies of insect breeding. With the EntoEngine™, they can optimize the production of critical products across a wide range of industries and applications, including cell agriculture, research, therapeutics, vaccines, growth factors and enzymes – all within the framework of a circular economy.
In accepting this award, co-founders Matt Anderson-Baron and Jalene Anderson-Baron said, We are honored to be recognized as BioAlberta Company of the Year. Our success over the past few years is the result of our talented and innovative team at Future Fields and we are incredibly grateful for their dedication and hard work. We look forward to continuing our growth here and contributing to Alberta’s thriving biotech community.”
Winner of Scientific Achievement and Innovation 2022 – Dr. Toshima Yokota
“The work in Dr. Toshi’s lab has inspired scores of students in the field of medical genetics, collectively producing over 90 papers on their studies… Since then, he’s built on his original discovery to develop a more effective treatment with the potential to help 40% of the patients with DMD, which prevents heart failure in patients with muscular dystrophy,” said Nuzhat Tam Zaman, co-founder of Sinoveda/ Co-Chairman of the Board of Directors of BioAlberta.
dr Toshifumi (Toshi) Yokota is Professor of Medical Genetics at the University of Alberta.
The research team of Dr. Yokota designed and tested synthetic DNA-like molecules called gapmers that disrupt the production of a toxic protein that destroys muscles in facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD), the third most common form of muscular dystrophy. They showed that this unique treatment destroyed more than 99 percent of the toxic gene products called DUX4 in patient-derived cells, accompanied by morphological and functional improvements.
dr Toshima Yokota accepted this award via video and said, “Thank you for this award, it means so much to me and my team. We started this lab 10 years ago and our therapy was approved by the FDA a few years ago. My goal is to increase the potential of this therapy, since it not only cures genetic diseases, but can also be used in cancer therapy and infectious diseases. In closing, I would like to say a big thank you to everyone including my colleagues, my partner and Dr. Rika Yokota Maruyama.”
Second Winner of Scientific Achievement and Innovation 2022 – Dr. Hasan Uludag
This award recognizes an individual or team responsible for a breakthrough innovation with commercial application.
“In Alberta, Dr. Uludag’s research on bone-seeking drug carriers demonstrated for the first time the feasibility of delivering proteins to bone following systemic injection. This has accelerated novel therapies, particularly to realize the dream of using growth factors to treat systemic bone disease,” said Nuzhat Tam Zaman, co-founder of Sinoveda/ Co-Chairman of the Board of Directors of BioAlberta.
dr Uludağ currently works at the Faculty of Chemical and Materials Engineering and has joint appointments with the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry and the Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. He leads interdisciplinary research programs on experimental therapeutics and has a particular focus on the development of functional biomaterials to exploit the potential of new, unconventional therapeutics. His research activities focus on nucleic acid therapeutics and cancer therapies. He is actively involved in various biomaterials societies around the world and is an elected member of the International Union of Society of Biomaterials Science and Engineering. He is also on the editorial board of several international trade journals.
In accepting this award, Dr. Hasan Uludağ: “I am honored to be recognized with this award, especially the opportunity to contribute to the growth of the bio-industry in my adopted province makes me particularly happy. Thank you to so many friends, colleagues and coaches who came along.”
BioAlberta is the voice and champion of life sciences in Alberta, committed to creating a thriving and competitive industry by facilitating and accelerating economic diversification, investment attractiveness and job growth.
A private, not-for-profit industry association, BioAlberta represents more than 230 members of Alberta’s growing life sciences community of researchers, manufacturers and suppliers working in specialized sectors such as pharmaceuticals, medical devices, natural health products, and environmental, agricultural and industrial biotechnology. BioAlberta’s activities are focused on advocacy, promotion and proactively driving the growth of the industry. Please visit: https://www.bioalberta.com/