AION, aMoon up for top scientific innovation award

AION Labs brings together some of the biggest names in pharma, including AstraZeneca, Merck and Pfizer, and aMoon is Israel’s largest health-tech fund.

AION Labs CEO Mati Gil. (photo credit: AION Labs Team)
AION Labs CEO Mati Gil.
(photo credit: AION Labs Team)

An Israeli accelerator and an Israeli investment fund have been nominated for a 2022 Prix Galien USA award in the new “Incubators, Accelerators and Equity – Foundational Support for Health Innovation 2022” category, the Galien Foundation announced last week.

AION Labs, a first-of-its-kind alliance of six global pharma and tech leaders, and aMoon, a global health technology and life sciences investment fund, are up for the award – considered among the most prestigious in the field of pharmaceutical research and development.

There are a total of 18 entities recommended for the award, meaning that more than 10% of the finalists are from Israel.

When will the ceremony take place? 

aMoon MD Managing Director Gur Roshwalb (credit: PR)aMoon MD Managing Director Gur Roshwalb (credit: PR)

Winners will be announced on October 27 at a ceremony that will be held at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City.

“Our being nominated adds to the global recognition of the growing role Israeli innovation is playing and can play in the future of the pharma industry, especially where AI and computational technology meets pharma,” AION Labs CEO Mati Gill told The Jerusalem Post. 

“It is also a vote of confidence in the government strategy of promoting bio-convergence – the synergy between engineering/technology and biology,” Gill added. 

 AION Labs participants work on their proposals ahead of their final presentations. (credit: AION Labs Team) AION Labs participants work on their proposals ahead of their final presentations. (credit: AION Labs Team)

“It is a vote of confidence in the government strategy of promoting bio-convergence – the synergy between engineering/technology and biology.”

AION Labs CEO Mati Gill

The newest Prix Galien category acknowledges the role played by institutions in guiding the next wave of innovators by offering a range of mentoring skills, including clinical trial design expertise, legal counsel, lab space, professional development, peer-to-peer support, free access to leading advisors and economic support to advance life science innovation, a release by the Galien Foundation noted.

How are they being judged?

The nominees will be judged based on seven criteria ranging from how the incubator/accelerator addresses the needs of candidates accepted to the labs and examples of businesses that have “graduated” or “exited” from them.

AION Labs has been around only for about a year. It brings together some of the biggest names in pharma, including AstraZeneca, Merck, Pfizer and Teva, with young biotech inventors and entrepreneurs, to crack biomedical research challenges together and in a novel way. 

Specifically, it creates, seeds and invests in early-stage startup teams focused on AI and computational biology in drug discovery and development to meet the most significant challenges in the pharmaceutical industry. Using these new tools, the hope is that drug development can be faster and more efficient, discoveries can be more precise and patient centered, and avoid animal testing.

aMoon is Israel’s largest health-tech fund, working with more than 50 scientists, physicians and entrepreneurs, the fund works to build bridges between its portfolio companies and global tech, finance and medical research hubs “to help entrepreneurs turn their vision into reality,” according to its LinkedIn page.

“The Prix Galien Awards have become the most coveted prizes for those who dedicate their lives to the development of meaningful drugs and innovations,” said Bernard Poussot, director of Roche Holding and the committee chair for the Incubators, Accelerators and Equity prize committee.

“The Prix Galien Awards have become the most coveted prizes for those who dedicate their lives to the development of meaningful drugs and innovations.”

Bernard Poussot, director of Roche Holding

“Members of the Awards Committees applaud the unwavering commitment of each nominee in their quest to provide a healthier future for the next generation.”