Andrew Hore – It is coming up to the time for the annual AIM Awards. They will be announced on 8 October at Old Billingsgate in London and, in addition to the normal awards, there are also plans to mark the 20th anniversary with an award for the best performer over 20 years.
Here is the awards shortlist:
It is always difficult to assess who will win the awards. Last year, the only award winner I managed to guess correctly was international company of the year,SQS (SQS). Below is an assessment of who may win six of the main awards this year.
2014 winner: REX Bionics (RXB)
• Advanced Oncotherapy (AVO)
• e-Therapeutics (ETX)
• Sprue Aegis (SPRP)
• Xeros Technology Group (XSG)
Advanced Oncotherapy is a developer of proton therapy systems for cancer treatment, something that has been in the news in the past year or so. This technique enables the precise treatment of the tumour whereas radiotherapy treats the area where the tumours are. The technology was originally developed by the European nuclear research organisation CERN. Advanced Oncotherapy continues to make progress with technological development and partnerships with major healthcare technology players and it hopes to have its first system ready to treat patients in 2017.
Drug discovery company e-therapeutics has developed a platform that uses network analysis to identify what interventions are required in target cells/systems and the molecules that can deliver these interventions. The candidates are de-risked before the treatment is further developed. Data is due in the next few months for the trials for ETS2101 in the treatment of pancreatic and liver cancer. The company has £30 million in the balance sheet.
Smoke detectors and alarms supplier Sprue Aegis can be described as the most solid company on the shortlist. Sprue Aegis is a profitable business and the technology is not as revolutionary as the newer technologies being developed by the others on the table.
Xeros Technologies has developed a polymer bead cleaning system for commercial laundries and it has been expanding its geographic reach. Mark Nichols was recently appointed chief executive. Revenues remain modest.
Last year’s winner, robotic exoskeleton developer REX Bionics has not performed well in share price terms in the past year as progress has been slower than hoped for. That is not a great shock for such an early stage technology business. However, REX’s poor performance could make the judges more cautions this time. That said, REX’s technology was highly publicised prior to the awards and that may be the key to this year’s winner.
Best guess: Advanced Oncotherapy