Promising news from our portfolio company Annaida Technologies:
Improved IVF Screening (Lausanne, EPF spin-off)
About 1 in 10 couples in developed countries use in-vitro fertilization when trying to conceive and Europe’s clinics perform 660,000 IVF cycles every year. Globally IVF will be a $20 billion industry by 2020, with patients spending over $1 billion on screening embryos to identify which may be most viable. Current methods, by examination under microscope or by taking a biopsy of as much as 15 percent of the embryos cells, are slow and result in successful pregnancies 35 percent of the time on average.
Annaida’s CTO Marco Grisi, who studied microengineering and magnetic resonance at Lausanne’s Institute of Microengineering EPFL, developed a faster, more-accurate technology that’s delicate enough to use on a human embryo. The startup’s device — like an MRI scanner shrunk to suit embryos about one-fifth of a millimeter in size — will allow IVF clinics to perform their analysis on-site and within an hour.
Grisi and co-founder and CEO, Gaurasundar Conley, used Venture Kick’s support to meet industry players and opinion leaders at conferences and institutes worldwide, and develop their expertise in embryology.
“It’s thanks to those opportunities that we’re now collaborating with our partner for the next medical studies, so Venture Kick was crucial for the development of our spin-off,” says Grisi. “Without Venture Kick it wouldn’t have been possible to assemble so many players around the project.”
2019 should see the startup (named after the founders’ grandmothers) close a seed round and start a human embryo study with an IVF clinic in canton Vaud. “Kickers Camp are essential to help you focus your priorities on key business elements. You put technology aside and make customer need and willingness-to-pay central,” says Conley.