Spain's Neuropharma was given the Excellence in Technology award for its efforts in developing a technology that could lead to compounds with a novel mechanism of action and potential disease modifying capabilities in the field of neurodegenerative diseases, particularly Alzheimer's disease. The company are developing drugs that aim to inhibit beta-secretase enzyme (BACE) in order to prevent the formation of amyloid plaques - thought to cause the debilitating effects of Alzheimer's disease. The company are also researching compounds that interfere with the aggregation of the plaques. Swiss firm AmVac, which focuses on producing immune-therapeutic vaccines in areas of unmet need in the urology and gynaecology markets, won the Enabling Technology of the Year award in the biotherapeutic drugs and treatment procedures market. Swiss-based Speedel also won an Entrepreneurial Company award for its development of innovative rennin inhibitors for the treatment of unmet needs within cardiovascular and metabolic disease areas. The Product Line Strategy award was bestowed upon Thermo Fisher Scientific for its "outstanding contribution to the European laboratory automation market," said Frost & Sullivan. "The company brings forth the enhanced configurability in its automation systems with a cost-beneficial approach and ease of use." Guido Geerts, CEO of Dutch medical imaging firm Rogan Delft was honored with the CEO of the Year award and responded by encouraging companies to work together as a team, as well as imparting his wisdom on perseverance when breaking into emerging Asian markets such as China. UK Clinical trials software provider InferMed took home the Entrepreneurial Company award for its electronic data capture (EDC) software, MACRO, as well as its clinical decision support software, AREZZO. "InferMed has witnessed increased demand for its offerings that has seen it grown form six to 26 staff in 2006. Success has also driven geographic expansion into France, the US and Asia," Frost & Sullivan said. The Competitive Strategy Leadership award went to US firm GeneGo, provider of data analysis solutions in systems biology, including contract bioinformatics services from pre-clinical discovery and new chemical entity (NCE) applications, through to clinical trials. "The company demonstrates clarity in its understanding of the scientific community and their needs and has trained its strategic focus on areas of high growth potential," said Frost & Sullivan. Italian firm Chiesi Farmaceutici won the Technology Innovation Award. The company has developed a range of cholofluorocarbon (CFC)-free metered dose inhalers (MDI), designed to fill a gap in the asthma/COPD market for devices that are portable, easy to use, and provide feedback to let patients know that the drug dose has been correctly taken, helping ensure a more accurate and consistent dose delivery, as well as indicating when the inhaler is empty. Swiss company Debiotech received two awards - the Entrepreneurial Company award and the Enabling Technology of the Year award in the insulin pump industry. "It has been recognised for its efforts into venturing into a market that has seen practically no developments over the years and is now aggressively attempting to revolutionise the insulin drug delivery market," said Frost & Sullivan. In total, 24 awards were granted during the ceremony held last week in London.