An Israeli pharmaceutical executive was among three winners of the 2021 EU Prize for Women Innovators, awarded annually to female entrepreneurs who have founded a successful company and brought innovation to the market. The prize winners were announced this week by the European Commission.
Dr. Daphne Haim-Langford, founder and CEO of Israeli pharmaceutical company Tarsier Pharma, won the accolade. Her company, founded in 2016, develops treatments for autoimmune inflammatory ocular diseases.
The award comes with a €100,000 cash prize for each winner. Haim-Langford won alongside Merel Boers from the Netherlands, co-founder and CEO of NICO-LAB, a tech company helping physicians improve emergency care, and Mathilde Jakobsen from Denmark, co-founder and CEO of Fresh.Land, a digital platform that shortens and digitizes the food supply chain.
The annual prize was first launched in 2011 to honor “women entrepreneurs behind game-changing innovations,” according to the announcement. It is awarded to entrepreneurs from across the EU and countries associated with Horizon Europe including Israel, Albania, Moldova, Turkey, Ukraine and Morocco.
Horizon Europe is the EU’s key funding program for research and innovation with a budget of over $100 billion. Tarsier Pharma has received funding from the program.
Haim-Langford has worked in the biomedical industry for over 20 years in different capacities, including investor, entrepreneur and executive, according to a company profile. As an investor, she led investments in medical technology and biotechnology companies, and has served on the boards of a number of companies.
She also is the co-founder of the Israeli Biomimicry Organization, a non-profit outfit that promotes nature as a source of innovation.
“This is a special moment for me,” said Haim-Langford in a company statement. “Empowering women innovators is a global important mission that I strive to accomplish throughout my whole career. I believe that it is our responsibility as women leaders, to make sure many more women will follow us, and we should create opportunities and support the next generation.”
Earlier this year, Tasier Pharma raised capital (the amount was not disclosed) to perform a phase III clinical trial of one of its solutions, TRS, in the US and Europe. The company’s TRS platform is designed to treat blinding inflammatory ocular diseases, and is being developed as both eye drops and intravitreal injections. Tasier Pharma says the solution may treat such diseases as advanced glaucoma as effectively as steroids but without the side effects.
“We would like to extend our heartfelt congratulations to Dr. Daphne Haim-Langford for winning the prestigious EU Prize for Women Innovators 2021,” said Dr. Ami Appelbaum, chairman of Israel Innovation Authority, in the statement.
“For years, Israel is known to be at the forefront of global technology innovations. By winning this illustrious award Daphne empowers other women researchers and entrepreneurs to break the glass ceiling and distinguish themselves in the various technology sectors and most particularly in medicine.”