Start-ups Meet Pharma 2022 – Your chance to collaborate with pharma companies

Applications for Start-ups Meet Pharma 2022 are officially open!

Do you want to break into the pharma industry? Check out this year´s Start-ups Meet Pharma challenges, and if your solution tackles one of them, the programme will give you the opportunity to collaborate directly with internal decision-makers and open the path for partnership exploration.

The start-ups Meet Pharma is a challenge-based acceleration program focused on selecting the most promising health start-ups and scale-ups matching the corporate partners’ innovation needs, to deliver solutions that address quality and affordable healthcare for European patients. In 2022, we are enabling unparalleled exposure to industry executives and decision-makers at Novartis, Boehringer Ingelheim, Sintetica and Takeda through one-to-one pitch sessions, support, value proposition development and partnership exploration.

If you are developing innovative technologies and services representing potential solutions for the selected challenges for 2022, submit your application now!

2022 Challenges

Title: Early diagnosis and identification of risk for disease progression in Chronic Kidney patients

The global prevalence of Chronic Kidney disease is around 9% and is often underrecognized by patients and clinicians. Diagnosis, staging and appropriate referral of CKD patients by primary care physicians are important elements in reducing the burden of the disease. Boehringer Ingelheim is looking for a digital diagnostic support tool that aids the diagnosis of new CKD patients; flags the unrecognized CKD patients – especially those with high risk for progression; and could be integrated with the daily workflow of GPs.

Title: Digital solutions improving referral and diagnostic pathway for rare diseases

People living with rare diseases are often faced with challenges to obtain a correct diagnosis, and hence treatment. Takeda calls for digital health solutions that could improve or optimize the care and referral pathway for people with rare diseases to gain access to relevant laboratory testing to enable diagnosis and treatment decisions. There is a particular interest for solutions that could be applied to improve testing for Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP), which is an ultra-rare, life-threatening blood disorder.

Title: Innovative solutions for pain management

Sintetica is looking for disruptive and innovative solutions in pain management, related to chronic pain but also to pain treatment in general, that could improve patients’ lives. These solutions could include but are not limited to: new types of pharmacological treatment, novel drug delivery routes, medical devices, digital approaches. There is a particular interest in the field of neuromodulation which is an expanding area of pain medicine that incorporates an array of non-invasive, minimally invasive, and surgical electrical therapies, as well as solutions that are based on a multidisciplinary approach, solutions that aim at an individualised treatment and solutions that could offer a multidimensional diagnosis.

Title: Care coordination between primary care and specialty care for Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease patients with elevated LDL-c levels 

Novartis is looking for a proven solution or platform that can support integrated care pathway (screening & diagnosis / identify patient, automate referral, treatment activation and follow-up) including any digital health interventions (e.g., behavior change / psychosocial aid/adherence) to optimize patient outcome (QoL, morbidity/mortality, productivity), reduce disease burden and minimize avoidable HC resource utilization.

IMPORTANT: For a full description of the challenges, download this document.

Programme structure

The programme consists of four different modules with the objective to train and prepare start-ups to discuss collaboration opportunities with pharma companies.

  • Module 1 “Meet and Learn” (2-6/05/2022, Online): 5 days of workshops by top-notch speakers on different tools and methods to successfully build your company.
  • Module 2 “Meet and Pitch” (07-17/06/2022, Online): Workshops by pharma partners involved in the programme on how to collaborate with big players in the market.
  • Module 3 “Meet and Visit” (4-8/07/2022, Online/pharma companies’ premises): Start-ups will visit the premises of the pharma partners and meet with internal decision-makers to discuss collaboration opportunities.
  • Module 4 “Meet and Win” (September 2022): Startups pitch in front of external pharma company representatives and get extra visibility.

Eligibility criteria

  • Your company must be an established legal entity and based in any Horizon Europe country.
  • Your company must have a validated proof of concept, market validation and prototype that addresses one of the challenges released by the pharma companies.
  • The selected start-up must commit to the whole duration of the programme.


Application period: 3 January – 14 March 2022, 23:59 CET via Optimy platform.


Interested start-ups are kindly invited to participate in our upcoming webinars aimed to provide a detailed overview of the programme, its timeline, and the application process.

  • 9 February 2022, 11:00 AM CET (Register here)
  • 9 March 2022, 11:00 AM CET (Register here)


Gold sponsors: