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Jordi Cabrafiga, Valerie Vanhooren and Judit Anido (Photo: CataloniaBio & HealthTech).

CataloniaBio & HealthTech gives the 2021 Biosuccess Award to ONA Therapeutics

CataloniaBio & HealthTech has recognised ONA Therapeutics with the 2021 Biosuccess Award for its investment attraction, growth as a spin-off and international projection. The event took place yesterday during the UnConference, the annual day of debate on the future of solutions for healthcare promoted by CataloniaBio & HealthTech, headquartered at the Barcelona Science Park, with collaboration of BStartup and the support of ACCIÓ.

ONA Therapeutics is a biotechnology company specializing in the discovery and development of new biological therapies aimed at metastasis initiating cells and lipid metabolism. Founded in 2019 by Valerie Vanhooren and Salvador Aznar-Benitah as a spin-off of the Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies (ICREA) and the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona). A year later, in 2020, ONA closed a series A funding round of 30 million euros, the largest round ever achieved by a company in preclinical stage in Spain, and one of the largest in Europe during 2020. This funding will allow ONA to complete  preclinical development and initiate the first clinical studies in advanced  cancer patients with its leading candidate.

The Biosuccess Award adds to other recent recognitions such as the designation by Fierce Biotech as one of the most promising biotechnology companies of 2020 and being among the eight finalists for the Nature Spinoff 2021 award.

Valerie  Vanhooren, co-founder and CEO of ONA Therapeutics, about the CataloniaBio & HealthTech Biosuccess Award: “You don’t know the energy it gives us to receive this recognition.” She highlighted the internationalization of the Catalan biotechnology sector and claimed that “in the sector we must stop being humble. Five years ago, when I arrived in Barcelona, in Catalonia, I found excellent  science, capital and specialized investors, exceptional professionals and a strong  biotechnology community.”

In her speech, the CEO of CataloniaBio & HealthTech, Judit Anido, remarked that “the evolution of the sector provides us with more and more success cases that make visible its maturity and every year it is more difficult for us to choose the winner, but that is very good news”. From ONA Therapeutics she highlighted the leadership of its CEO, “in the week that we celebrated the day of entrepreneur women, Valerie is an example of talent to follow”. The award was given by the Secretary General of Economy and Finance, Jordi Cabrafiga.

Previous editions of the Biosuccess Award have gone to Oryzon (2015), Minoryx Therapeutics and Palobiofarma (2016), STAT-Dx and Mosaic Biomedicals (2017), Anaconda Biomed and Mind the Byte (2018) and Ysios Capital and Antonio Parente (2019), and Kymos (2020).

» For further information: CataloniaBio & HealthTech website [+]

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