For the second year running, Anthill’s overall ‘Coolest of the Cool’ Award winner is an Australian medical company, combining the commercialisation of breakthrough research with the impact of saving lives globally.
In the final analysis, our judges awarded overall honours to Vaxine Pty Ltd over the other 2009 Cool Company Awards category winners for its success to date in building a platform that will potentially benefit every human on Earth.
Vaxine is a South Australian-based biotechnology company specialising in the development of novel vaccine technologies.
The company shot to global prominence in July 2009 when it became the first company in the world to commence human swine flu vaccine trials, beating the biggest pharmaceutical companies to the punch.
Vaxine also creates and licences new and improved vaccines to tackle the biggest global infectious disease threats, including hepatitis, encephalitis, malaria, HIV and SARS.
The company was founded in 2002 when Professor Nikolai Petrovsky (pictured), working as a physician at Canberra Hospital, teamed up with retired scientist Dr Peter Cooper to commercialise their discovery that a novel plant sugar could be used to dramatically enhance vaccine effectiveness.
This discovery rapidly led to human clinical trial success, resulting in multi-million dollar vaccine R&D contracts from the US government.
Vaxine’s mission is to save human lives by creating new and improved vaccines to tackle the biggest global infectious disease threats. The company’s great innovation is that its vaccines are made from a highly pure synthetic protein rather than being based on an actual virus.
This increases the vaccine’s effectiveness while at the same time reducing side effects. Additionally, plant-sugar-based vaccines avoid the conventional addition of potentially toxic compounds, such as aluminium and mercury.
In addition to pioneering vaccines, Vaxine has developed and trade marked a vaccine enhancement technology called AdvaxTM. The ADVAX family of adjuvants increase the immunogenicity of the antigens, enhance the duration of the immune response, stimulate a cell mediated immunity and reduce the dose level required of the antigen in the vaccine. In other words, it makes existing vaccines safer and more effective.
Australia is famous for its world-class R&D pedigree, but for many reasons, these innovations don’t always reach a broad global audience. Vaxine is pushing its unique vaccines out to the world, making a difference and building a compelling business in the process. That’s cool, and this year it won Vaxine Anthill’s ‘Coolest of the Cool’ honours.
AUSINDUSTRY INNOVATION AWARD
Innovation Award criteria, 2009
We define innovation as the ability to create, nurture and develop game-changing or pattern-breaking ideas — this can be a new solution to an existing problem or a startling new business or operational model. The Innovation Award will be awarded to any business that — through being novel, unique or different — generates a dramatic improvement over current conventional solutions. The originality and strength of an organisation’s ‘big idea’ and/or business model will be the main focus for judging.
In order to be eligible to win this year’s overall Coolest Company Award, Vaxine had to first win a category award. As a standout company in the innovation stakes, Vaxine also took out the Innovation category gong.
The other two Innovation Category finalists were:
INNOVATION CATEGORY FINALISTS
Papyrus Australia Ltd
Papyrus Australia has developed and patented a cost-effective, environmentally-sustainable technology that transforms the trunks of banana trees into a range of veneer, paper and board products.
Southern Innovation Pty Ltd
Southern Innovation develops, markets and licenses patented pulse processing technologies for the rapid, accurate detection and measurement of radiation. It has wide application in areas such as landmine detection, airport baggage screening, oil exploration, mineral analysis and the early detection of cancer.
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