Gold Award for the Champions of Slovenian Science and High Technology

23Sep2020

At today's award ceremony for the best innovations of the Northern Primorska region, BIA Separations received the gold award for innovation in the development of the purification process of the gene drug Zolgensma for treating infants with fatal spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) type 2. With the innovation they were also included in the selection of the best innovations awarded at the national level by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia.

The Blind Will See and the Deaf Will Hear

"The award is a confirmation for all employees of BIA Separations that their efforts and results are important for the local environment," commented Dr. Aleš Štrancar, director of BIA Separations, when receiving the award. The company also has big plans for the future. This fiscal year will end with a doubling of last year's profit, which amounted to 12 million Euros, and at the beginning of 2021 the investment in new production facilities in Ajdovščina will be completed. "The Blind Will See and the Deaf Will Hear. Before that we will contribute our small share towards providing a vaccine for Covid-19. Today, the company is very stable in terms of business and finance. Along with the expansion of production facilities we are inviting new colleagues to join us for further development and innovation in the field of drug purification for treatment of cancer and gene therapy," announced Štrancar.

Champions of Slovenian Science and High-Tech                                                             

"Innovation is an important engine that drives the economy, so we at the regional chamber are trying to encourage and promote it to the best of our ability. We are demonstrating this by publishing the annual public tender and awarding the best innovations in the region. This year will be the eighteenth in a row. "And despite the unfavourable time in which our innovators wrote applications this year, one thing is certain: the tender, despite the Covid-19 epidemic, was very successful, as we received twice as many applications as in an average year,”  commented mag. Nevenka Volk Rožič, the director of the Northern Primorska Chamber of Commerce and Industry, about this year's selection.

In addition to the gold award, BIA Separations recently added another achievement: on one of the international lists they were ranked alongside multinational corporations with billions at their disposal for the study "Viral Vector Purification/Virus Purification Products Market, 2020-2030". "We are the champions of Slovenian science and high-tech," says Štrancar, who hopes BIA Separations will generate a billion in annual revenues in the next five years.

Gold Award for Gene Therapy that was also used to treat Kris, a Young Boy from Slovenia

BIA Separations received the gold award for innovation in the development of the purification process of the gene drug Zolgensma for treating infants with lethal spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) type 2, reported the Northern Primorska Chamber of Commerce and Industry. In May 2019, the first 100% effective gene therapy for the treatment of infants with this disease was approved. BIA Separations contributed to the development of the purification process of the Zolgensma gene drug with innovative Slovenian technology, which placed Slovenian science along with the very best in the world. Purification technology is one of the key processes in the production of drugs: it separates the active ingredient from the other, often toxic or even carcinogenic substances, and the process represents up to 80% of the productions costs of the drug with which they are saving lives. This is the medicine that Kris, a young boy from Slovenia, received last November after the much-noticed charity campaign.

The Revolution in Pharmacy

For the purpose of purifying the Zolgensma drug, BIA Separations developed an innovative biochemical technological process that uses chromatographic monolithic columns from the CIMmultus™ line. These are the so called intelligent filters that detect impurities at significantly lower concentrations than previously known, and thus also purify them better. In some cases, this technology achieves as much as a 15-fold increase in efficiency compared to traditional, non-monolithic technology. Confirmation of the use of gene therapy represents a major revolution in the field of pharmacy, as it will enable the treatment of most diseases within 20-30 years — from cancer, depression, to diabetes and heart disease. With mass use, the price of active ingredients will fall, and this will cause major changes in the functioning of the healthcare, insurance and pharmaceutical industries.

BIA Separations
BIA Separations, when the extenstion in Ajdovščina will be complete.

Additional information:

komunikacije@mediade.si, 041 213 451, Matjaž Kljajić