Lhasa Limited, which is based at Granary Wharf, Leeds, creates software that supports the pharmaceutical industry in bringing safe, effective and life enhancing medicines to market earlier. Lhasa was recognised by the Queen’s Awards in the Innovation category, in acknowledgement of its development of the statistical-based software, Sarah Nexus, which is widely used by pharmaceutical, chemical, cosmetic and related industries.
Founded in 1983 as a not-for-profit organisation and educational charity, to deliver public benefit through the collaborative development and use of computer aided reasoning in scientific software, Lhasa was initially based within the Chemistry department at the University of Leeds and employed only a handful of scientists. Today it is a fast-growing global organisation employing 156 people, with operations in Leeds, Poland and the USA. The growing global demand for its software has led to the opening of a new hub in Newcastle, which has generated a further eight jobs.
Visiting Lhasa to present the company with its award, Mr Hare was greeted by Lhasa’s new CEO, Dr Chris Barber and given a full tour of Lhasa’s headquarters and a special demonstration of the world-leading Sarah Nexus software. The software, which was created in-house, along with Derek Nexus which received the Queen’s Award in 2016, is vitally important to the pharmaceutical sector. It allows scientists to rapidly assess the potential mutagenicity of chemical compounds to aid decisions, thereby shortening development cycles, reducing the need for animal testing, and leading to the earlier market availability of safe, potentially life enhancing new chemical entities and drugs.
The Queen's Awards for Enterprise are the UK's most prestigious accolades for business performance, and recognise and reward outstanding achievement. They are made each year by Her Majesty The Queen, on the recommendation of an advisory committee that includes representatives of Government, industry, and commerce and trade unions. The Innovation Award recognises companies who have delivered an outstanding performance as a result of an innovation.
Dr Barber, who played a lead role in the development of Sarah Nexus, said: “Receiving the Queen’s Award for Enterprise for the second year running is a huge honour and a further reflection of the innovation that is taking place within our industry to support pharmaceutical companies in bringing effective drugs to market more quickly and efficiently.
“It is very satisfying for our work to be recognised and we are delighted to have the opportunity to talk to the Vice Lord-Lieutenant about the development work that is going on here and within the wider industry.”