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12 November, 2019 - 13:27 By Tony Quested

Camena flies the flag for new wave of synthetic biology trailblazers

Quizzed about the science and technology sectors destined to have the most impact globally in future years, Cambridge entrepreneur Dr Hermann Hauser placed synthetic biology in his top three.

Business Weekly is seeing this reflected in entries for the 30th Anniversary Awards and is excited to see thrusting young startup Camena Bioscience put itself forward as a potential Young Company of the Year. 

Based at The Science Village at Chesterford Research Park, Camena has also entered the hotly contested Life Science Innovation category.

Camena is a synthetic biology company and developer of a highly accurate DNA synthesis technology.

CEO Steve Harvey explains the power of the proposition: “Synthetic biology is revolutionising diverse markets, from agriculture to therapeutics. The ability to read, write and manipulate DNA is at the centre of this revolution and allows biologists to engineer new biological pathways. 

“There have been considerable developments in our ability to read DNA (sequence) – not least due to Cambridge inventions – but no comparable leap forward in our ability to write DNA (synthesise). 

“Camena Bioscience has developed gSynth, an enzymatic DNA synthesis technology that is on average 4x more accurate than the gold-standard. Camena Bioscience’s significant technology leap forward will enable the rapidly expanding synthetic biology market.”

Cambridge based life science AI specialist OKRA Technologies is tilting at a hat-trick – Young Company of the Year, Life Science Innovation and, for founder and CEO Loubna Bouarfa, the Camberidge Judge Business School Woman Entrepreneur of the Year Award.

OKRA delivers suggestions, predictions and explanations to empower life science executives to drive the delivery of the right drug to the right patient through understandable AI outputs. 

Understanding the WHY behind insights empowers users to take decisions with all the evidence and information needed. OKRA’s outputs put the user at the centre, enabling each individual at their desk or in the field to realise their objectives.


OKRA Technologies CEO Loubna Bouarfa

 This year OKRA has moved from strength to strength through industry partnerships and global AI collaborations with top 10 Pharma leading to a significant scaling of the technology.

Loubna Bouarfa is a hot gospeller for the technology globally and a recognised influencer for the EU; she was a finalist in the Woman Entrepreneur of the Year category last year but was pipped by Poppy Gustafsson, EMEA CEO of cyber security world leader Darktrace.

Entries are flowing for all categories of the Awards and you can enter online.  The competition facilitates useful PR in print, online and on the night of the presentation dinner – plus great branding and the opportunity to pitch to  influential investors.

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