NFCR announces the winners of the 2021 Salisbury Prize competition
The National Cancer Research Foundation (NFCR) has announced the winners of the 2021 Salisbury Prize competition for entrepreneurial translational research, selected from eight semi-finalists after presentations to a judging panel of eminent cancer researchers, clinicians, new investors and business leaders.
The semi-finalists were determined earlier in the spring based on entries from university labs or early-stage companies advancing promising experimental innovations in cancer treatment, diagnosis, detection and vaccine. .
The first winner of the Salisbury Prize competition is the Cancer Therapeutic Innovation presented by Ronit Satchi-Fainaro, Ph.D., Co-Founder and Scientific Director (CSO) of TanoMed, based in Israel, and professor at the University of Tel Aviv and director of his cancer biology research center.
Their technology forms host immunity in the tumor microenvironment against a specific member of the cell adhesion molecule family linked to the carcinoembryonic antigen, CEACAM5, which plays a leading role in gastrointestinal cancers.
The second prize winner is the innovation presented by Izabela Tworowska, Ph.D., co-founder and CSO of RadioMedix, a Houston-based company, which advances an experimental peptide receptor radionuclide therapy that targets certain inoperable neuroendocrine tumors.
The third winner is an innovation presented by Maria José Alonso, Ph.D., founder of Libera Bio, based in Spain, a company developing a new vector for the delivery of whole monoclonal antibodies directed against intracellular cancer targets otherwise deemed “indruggable. “.
The innovation presented by Yoel Shiboleth, Ph.D., co-founder and CEO of TargetGene Biotechnologies, an Israeli company, earned an honorable mention. This technology is a unique gene editing platform for targeting lung cancer and other diseases.
The Salisbury Prize program was established in 2019 in honor of three family members whose shared vision and heritage have defined NFCR’s mission and continue to guide the organization’s commitment to fund research on “high risk, high impact, high reward” cancer. The Salisbury Prize competition is designed to identify and promote innovative discoveries made in the lab for commercialization, with the ultimate goal of benefiting cancer patients. Innovations are evaluated by the event’s judging committee based on categories of feasibility, novelty and impact on cancer patients.
The winner of the Salisbury Prize competition will gain access to the NFCR’s extensive cancer research network in the United States and around the world. The eight semi-finalists also benefit from increased visibility and insightful feedback from the main opinion leaders who make up the selection committee:
- President Raju Kucherlapati, Ph.D., Paul C. Cabot Professor of Genetics and Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School
- Webster Cavenee, Ph.D., Emeritus Emeritus Professor of Medicine, University of California, San Diego
Pamela Garzone, Ph.D., Chief Medical Officer, Calibr at Scripps Research
Dimitra Georganopoulou, Ph.D., Faculty of Innovation, MIT linQ CATALYST and Interim Commercial Director, MyGenome Rx
Brian Leyland-Jones, MB, BS, Ph.D., Medical Director, AIM-HI Accelerator Fund
Will Liu, Ph.D., Partner, Eight Roads Ventures
Alfred Slanetz, Ph.D., President and CEO, Geneius Biotechnology
Thea Tlsty, Ph.D., professor of pathology, University of California, San Francisco
Matt Tremblay, Ph.D., COO, Scripps Research
Hai Yan, MD, Ph.D., Henry S. Friedman Emeritus Professor of Neuro-Oncology, Duke University School of Medicine
“The Salisbury Prize competition has dramatically grown in scope, impact and the breadth of technology since the inception of the program just two years ago,” said Sujuan Ba, CEO of NFCR, Ph.D. “The event 2021 showcased an exceptional set of translational cancer research projects and innovations developed by laboratories and start-ups – each of which holds great promise for real impact. “
Translational research, at its core, is the critical point where promising laboratory results can become clinically meaningful technologies. The Salisbury program has become well respected and global in scope – as has the cancer problem. This is underscored by three of the four greatest oncology innovations awarded this year – including the winner – being invented outside of the United States. “
Dr Webster Cavenee, Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Board, NFCR
“The Salisbury Prize competition has provided highly credible contribution and validation opportunities for the innovative and disruptive immunotherapeutic technology for gastrointestinal cancer that was invented at Tel Aviv University and is being developed by TanoMed.” , said Professor Satchi-Fainaro. “I am honored to represent our collaboration with Professor Helena Florindo of the University of Lisbon and to congratulate the National Foundation for Cancer Research and the esteemed members of the judging committee of the event for this platform which puts highlights and supports potential early stage cancer control technologies to help patients. “