It has been announced that the firm was presented with the Innovation in Enabling Biotechnology Award at the 2007 UK BioEntrepreneurial Company of the Year Awards in July, run by UK Trade & Investment. Oxford Genome Sciences and Lux Biotechnology were the runners up in this category. This award was one of three on offer and was designed to recognise the role research plays in developing technologies that facilitate drug discovery and development, said UK Trade & Investment. The contract research organisation (CRO) has developed a unique high-throughput technology for producing soluble and stable protein fragments that are suitable for compound screening, structural biology studies or antibody production. "The approach resolves the discovery 'gap' that exists between the vast amount of genomic information that is now available, and the accessibility of the corresponding proteins for use in target validation and drug discovery", said Domainex. According to Dr Keith Powell, Chairman of Domainex, the firm is now in a position to move from drug target identification into drug development. The UK's biotechnology industry now has over 450 companies and employs more than 22,400 employees, to become the top player in Europe, and second only to the US, exporting over $18bn (€13.3bn) of pharmaceuticals. This is the second year that UK Trade & Investment has held these awards in support of the industry, and this year over 20 companies were nominated, either by their regional representative body, UK Trade & Investment International Trade Advisor or devolved regional body. Nominees each presented a 90-second pitch to a judging panel of experienced biotech and pharma individuals, chaired by Dr Ian Gibson, MP, who were charged with deciding which three companies go through to the semi-finals for each award. The second award given this year by UK Trade & Investment was the UK Innovation in Drug Discovery and Development Award, designed to recognise the contribution a company makes to the UK's dominant position in the development of innovative new medicines. Berkshire based company, Piramed Pharma was the recipient and Lectus Therapeutics and Apitope Technology were the runners up. A third Award, The UK Special Award, was given in recognition of a firm who has made sales in a new territory with the help and assistance of their regional international trade advisors, or devolved regional support organisation. London's VetCell Bioscience was the winner, with Hygieia Healthcare and Excelsyn Molecular Development in close pursuit. In addition, an Outstanding Achievement Award was presented to Peter Chambre, the former CEO of Cambridge Antibody Technology, who was responsible for the company in the years preceding its acquisition by AstraZeneca.