13 finalists were chosen for this year’s Regional Selection of the EIT Health Catapult. Here are the shortlisted candidates from the BioTech Category: Biotx.ai, Beo Therapeutics, denovoMATRIX, LenioBio and PhagoMed.
On 26 May 2020 we are hosting the Regional Selection of EIT Health Catapult and this year the exciting pitch competition will include 13 promising startups from across Europe. Meet the five BioTech teams and learn more about their projects:
Product / service idea in 50 words or less: denovoMATRIX aims to solve the key challenges preventing the manufacturing and implementation of cell-based therapies: cell quantity / quality and patient safety. The biomaterials created by denovoMATRIX recreate the natural environment of the human body in a laboratory / manufacturing setting for stem cells, and thereby enable their growth at the scale, quality as well as safety to bring these amazing treatments of tomorrow to today.
Origins of the idea: The idea behind denovoMATRIX technology originated in the labs of Professor Yixin Zhang, together with his post doc Dr. Robert Wieduwild, where the research focus was on biomaterials for tissue engineering.
Key differentiated product features: denovoMATRIX products are one of the only ones in the market which offer the trifecta of high performance, ease-of-use and modularity – allowing for a tailored product for every customer.
Reasons for applying to EIT Health Catapult: As mentioned in our teaser video, the denovoMATRIX team was on the search for mentorship and is hungry to learn new things about our market. We believe EIT Health Catapult is the perfect place to find just that, and learn from the experienced individuals who take part.
Future plans & ambitions. What’s next? This year we are raising our next financing round, launching a new product line, as well as aiming to achieve our ISO: 9001 certification, so a lot is planned! A key goal for us in the near future is implementing our products for clinical phases of cell based therapies.
Product/service idea in 50 words or less: Genomic data have problematic structure: small samples sizes and very many features. biotx.ai developed the key technology for the analysis of these high-dimensional (so-called wide) data unlocking the full potential of the genome. Our insights lead to highly accurate predictive models for prevention and novel therapeutics.
Origins of the idea: As our co-founder Marco worked before at the University of Cambridge on new anti-infectives for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation he heard about the idea to use existing clinical data to predict clinical efficacy – the bottleneck in drug development – of drug candidates. Nevertheless, clinical and in particular genomic data show a problematic structure: small sample size and very many features. As Marco heard that Jörn already developed feature selection tools for high-dimensional data in linguistics the idea for biotx.ai was born.
Key differentiated product features: The wide data problem in genomics is particularly difficult to solve. The mainstream of companies working with genomic data avoid it and instead aim towards increasing the number of subjects by sequencing entire populations like deCODE did with Iceland and WuXi NextCODE is currently doing with Ireland. biotx.ai provides an algorithmic solution for the analysis of high-dimensional (wide) genomic data. Instead of conducting large numbers of quasi-random tests for correlations, our AI generates a manageable number of informed hypotheses of which variants or interactions of variants could have a bearing on the trait, which are subsequently tested.
Reasons for applying to EIT Health Catapult: We closed a Seed Round last year and we are preparing a Series A round for 2021. Therefore, we would like to use EHC as roadshow for the funding of our Series A Round.
Future plans & ambitions. What’s next? With our current investment we turn our business model from service-based to product-based. We will bring the insights from our analyses as diagnostics to the patient enabling real disease predictions. Disease prediction enables high cost savings in the healthcare system as new longer expensive drug treatments occur. For example, we work with Finnish THL on novel prediction models for Parkinson’s Disease or breast cancer. For the latter early prediction can saves lives without expensive drug treatments. For further commercialization we are planning a Series A round in 2021. Thus, we applied for the EIT Health Catapult to present us and our product to investors and other healthcare stakeholder in preparation of our finance round in beginning 2021.
Product/service idea in 50 words or less: Beo Therapeutics develops therapies that treat gout, hypertension and chronic kidney disease. The underlying cause of these diseases is accumulation of a waste product named urate. Our therapies re-balance the metabolism of urate. It functions via optimising the gut microbiome. This is a EUR 2 billion market and growing fast.
Origins of the idea: A couple of years ago, it was discovered that patients with elevated levels of urate have an altered gut microbiome that promotes disease. The founders of Beo Therapeutics have a history of working with bacteria for therapeutic use. By combining the new knowledge from patients with the experience of the founders, the idea emerged that a cocktail of safe and natural bacteria can re-balance the gut microbiome of patients and thereby treat disease.
Key differentiated product features: The solution we are now developing is a patent protected oral treatment that contains our proprietary bacterial strains. Our novel gastric treatment aims at optimising the gut microbiome in two ways: reduce production of urate and promote the excretion of urate.
Reasons for applying to EIT Health Catapult: Rikke Nielsen and Nils Hijlkema seek to perfect Beo’s pitch and presentation for multiple audiences such as investors, potential partners, healthcare professionals and other stakeholders.
Future plans & ambitions. What’s next? We now seek Seed investments of EUR 1 million to complete lead development. Our ambition is to get into a human clinical trial within a year. With our fast-track approach, we believe we will get a return on investment for our investors in 3 to 5 years.
Product / service idea in 50 words or less: We kill bad bacteria without harming the good bacteria. That’s especially important when treating infections in #microbiomes. Such as the vaginal microbiome. Our phage-based drugs kill the bad bacteria in the vagina without harming the good vaginal bacteria that are essential for Women’s Health.
Origins of the idea: The natural enemies of the bacteria are phages. Phages are natural viruses that recognize and kill bacteria. But not any bacteria, just a specific type. We use phages and their ability to selectively kill bacteria to develop drugs that only kill specific bad bacteria in our microbiomes. Phages are the ideal match for the vaginal microbiome. A part of the body in which good bacteria (Lactobacilli) play a crucial role to keep women safe from fungal infections, sexually transmitted diseases and even cancer. At PhagoMed we invented and pioneered a phage-based drug for the treatment of Bacterial Vaginosis, a vaginal infection affecting 400 million women every year.
Key differentiated product features: Our lead product PM-477 is a phage-based recombinant endolysin that (1) Iis very potent at killing the bad bacteria in Bacterial Vaginosis (Gardnerella), (2) does not harm the good vaginal bacteria (e.g. Lactobacilli), (3) is expected to be fully safe for humans since it is derived from a natural source and (4) it has a unique combination of high efficacy, high precision and high expected safety not found in any other product in development or on the market.
Reasons for applying to EIT Health Catapult: The EIT Health Catapult is the premier life sciences competition in Europe. Competing there allows us to raise the visibility of our science, our team and our drugs.
Future plans & ambitions. What’s next: We are ready to scale our Bacterial Vaginosis drug into clinical trials, our team and our portfolio. To deliver that we are currently raising our Series A and are looking for additional investors to join our journey. We’re also working on the next targets. Further indications where killing bad bacteria without harming the good bacteria can dramatically improve Healthcare and Well-Being.
Product/service idea in 50 words or less: LenioBio develops efficient, robust and sustainable technologies. We aim to disrupt the way protein-based drugs are made. Current approaches are based on use of whole cells. Time-consuming, expensive and inflexible. Our cell-free platform ALiCE is different. A versatile and mobile system for protein production. Fast, cost-effective and flexible.
Origins of the idea: It all started with a collaboration of Corteva AgriScience and Fraunhofer IME improving a plant based cell-free expression system. Our CEO and founder, Dr. Remberto Martis, immediately saw the potential of the technology to disrupt the way protein drugs are produced. Enabling to serve those in need wherever they are.
Key differentiated product features: With our cell-free platform ALiCE we offer a versatile protein production platform. ALiCE can be used for a variety of applications. It massively reduces production times (months to hours) and increases screening success. Compared to cell expression, ALiCE is fast, flexible, and cost-effective.
Reasons for applying to EIT Health Catapult: We have the opportunity to create visibility for our company and our disruptive technology. We benefit from the pitch training and coaching in order to present our technology in a most efficient way.
Future plans & ambitions. What’s next? ALiCE is on the market as expression kit for screening and mg protein production. Until end of 2021 scaling of the platform to industrial scale. In addition, evaluation of several applications and business opportunities for our cell-free system.