Fighting COVID-19 with VirOmics Playground

BigOmics’ platform to win the battle against coronavirus is called VirOmics Playground. It analyzes and visualizes biological data for COVID-19, and it is accessible to everyone!

 

Open data can play a big role in understanding how pandemics works because it provides crucial insights about the patterns behind the data. BigOmics Analytics launched a special edition of their platform at the beginning of the pandemic called VirOmics Playground, dedicated to analyzing COVID-19 data. Since April, more than 5’000 users have visited this platform.

BigOmics Analytics are the creators of Omics Playground, a self-service analytics platform that allows biologists to perform complex analysis and visualization of data. The platform focusses on the interpretation of data, offering highly interactive visualization tools to understand it easily.

BigOmics’ mission is to help scientists visualize and understand their “omics” data, which is an approach that can be used when analyzing complete genetic or molecular profiles of humans and other organisms.

Nowadays, overcoming COVID-19 is one of the world’s top priorities. That is why BigOmics is playing an important role in understanding this disease, one of the biggest challenges in human history to date. VirOmics Playground provides scientists with easy access to an elaborate analysis of biomedical data by giving availability to various samples of previous infectious diseases with coronavirus such as MERS and SARS as well as the current SARS-CoV-2.

On this platform, researchers and specialists can easily and intuitively visualize big amounts of information. The kind of knowledge that could be useful in current studies to identify, among other things, potential drugs with antiviral activities, or genetic indicators for the development of vaccines.

BigOmics Analytics was founded at the end of 2018 as a spin-off of the Institute of Oncology Research in the southern part of Switzerland. A year before, they had won third prize in the StartCup Ticino competition for the best start-up idea with their vision to democratize big data analysis in life science research. In June they signed a partnership agreement with BC Platforms, and it has been selected for two accelerator programs in Europe (InvestHorizon) and the US (Alchemist)

 

Hemex is proud to support BigOmics. The start-up is currently raising money for its Seed Round. Are you also interested in contributing to a world of Big Data that is accessible to everyone? For more information, contact Pascal Winnen, our CEO, and he can explain to you all the benefits of democratizing omics data.

 

About HEMEX

HEMEX AG is a privately-owned Swiss investment and consulting company headquartered close to the Basel global life sciences hub, with its main focus to bring innovative drugs, medical devices and in vitro diagnostics to the market. HEMEX specializes in supporting early-stage start-ups, offering tailored solutions to accelerate the project into a successful and sustainable business. Additionally, HEMEX helps start-ups in their efforts to find non-dilutive and dilutive funding. More at HEMEX

The Weaker Sex?

Hemex is particularly inspired by the hard-working women who push boundaries to create innovative healthcare solutions. Dedicated and powerful female leaders enrich the diversity of our Swiss start-up portfolio. Today, we would like to introduce five remarkable female role models to you.

Becoming a successful entrepreneur / leader is not easy, especially for women. Two common challenges female leaders face in the academic and scientific world are sometimes referred to as the “glass ceiling” (the invisible barrier that keeps women from rising) and the “leaky pipeline” phenomenon (the way that women disappear from some career pathways).

The process of building a new company from scratch is challenging, yet incredibly rewarding when dreams materialize, and new discoveries improve the lives of people around the world. Research shows that companies that embrace team gender diversity are stronger and more efficient at tackling external and internal challenges. Therefore, we have decided to dedicate this post to our fast-growing list of impressive female leaders in our portfolio companies.

 

Iselin Frøybu

Iselin is Co-founder and COO at EMOVO CARE. She is a hardware engineer who studied Mechanical Engineering at Penn State University and has a Master’s degree from EPFL. Iselin turned into a business developer with a passion for developing meaningful technologies. She says that the question is no longer whether we can make something, but rather whether we should. She also likes to fight stereotypes and entropy. Iselin is an inspiring woman, who has played a crucial role in the company’s success. Her work never ceases to amaze us. With Emovo Care, Iselin is on a mission to significantly improve quality of life for stroke survivors.

 

Özge Karakas

Özge is Co-Founder and COO at Hi-D IMAGING. She is an experienced scientist, entrepreneur, and a postdoctoral researcher at ETH Zurich. Özge has over 10 years of experience in thermodynamics and fluid dynamic models. On top of this, she has completed a minor degree in Computer Science and Engineering. Özge has been instrumental in the company’s creation, writing the business plan and managing company finances.

 


Ronja Bruhn

Ronja is CEO and Co-Founder of STIMIT. She is a medical engineer with an MBA in Innovation & Entrepreneurship. With 12 years of experience in R&D industry projects and an EMEA product launch, Ronja has impressive experience when it comes to bringing healthcare products to market. Her hard work has demonstrated that STIMIT provides added clinical benefits to patients. With STIMIT, Ronja works on a noninvasive solution for patients lacking natural breathing function. STIMIT’s vision is to empower sedated ICU patients to breathe, creating natural breath instead of pumping air into the lungs.

 

Danuta Cichocka

Danuta is the CEO and Co-Founder of RESISTELL. She is a microbiologist passionately driven by life science, innovation, and self-development. She finished her PhD at the UFZ Leipzig, completed the Executive MBA program at EPFL, and obtained a CAS in Management of Biotech, Medtech & Pharma Ventures. Her key strength is being able to bridge the gap between research and business. Her ability to translate a complex problem into manageable challenges is admirable. Being able to not only see the big picture but knowing how to communicate it is a valuable strength that we truly appreciate at Hemex. With Resistell, Danuta works on the world’s fastest antibiogram to save lives by finding the right antibiotic in time and combat antibiotic resistance.

 

Marija Plodinec

Marija is CEO and Co-Founder of ARTIDIS. She believes in the potential of their technology to transform a cancer patient’s journey (and so do we at HEMEX). Marija studied physics at the University of Zagreb and completed her doctorate from the Maurice Müller Institute at the Biozentrum of the University of Basel. She is also a member of several international organizations and a Senior Principal Scientist at the University Hospital Basel. She is an energic source of inspiration in the field of physical sciences in oncology. At Artidis, Marija is dedicated to developing a rapid diagnostic technique to detect cancer.

 

Still think women are the “Weaker Sex”? Think again and embrace diversity – as we do here at Hemex!

Interview with Scailyte’s CEO Peter Nestorov

In an interview on the platform for high-tech startups Venturelab, Peter confirms something that we were already starting to presume in Hemex; Scailyte is developing rapidly. “However, the learning curve has been and still is extremely steep – as the start-up develops rapidly, so do I, and that is really exciting”.

As a founder and CEO, Peter faces a lot of challenges in his daily activities, but he always had the interest to be involved in multiple initiatives. “I managed a student NGO during my studies and organized numerous international meetings, so I had some basis when I decided to become the CEO of a startup”. It is exactly this transition to become the CEO of a company like Scailyte that has given Peter the skills to succeed as an entrepreneur.

The path of an entrepreneur is sometimes harsh. Peter states that surrounding yourself with a smart and experienced team is necessary. “What helps me a lot is the support and coaching I receive from more experienced entrepreneurs and experts from various industries”.

We at Hemex are thrilled to work with vibrant start-ups like Scailyte. Our slogan “Your Ideas. Our Expertise. One Goal.” reflects that we support the start-ups to achieve a common goal, to efficiently combine the smart ideas of entrepreneurs like Peter Nestorov, with our bench-to-market expertise in order to improve patients’ lives.

You can find the full interview here.

Scailyte is a data-driven biomarker discovery company, that detects complex disease patterns from single-cell data at the onset of disease. Only a small fraction of cells is abnormal, and the changes of the molecular profile are subtle. Scailyte’s technology provides unprecedented insights into diseases by uncovering hidden “single-cell” secrets. With an AI-driven approach, Scailyte is unlocking the potential of single-cell data for early diagnostics. Scailyte is ranked among the Top100 Swiss Startups since 2019 and has won the MassChallenge Switzerland in 2018.

Hemex is a privately-owned Swiss investment and consulting company headquartered close to the Basel global life sciences hub, with its focus to bring innovative drugs, medical devices, and in vitro diagnostics to the market. HEMEX specializes in supporting early-stage start-ups, offering tailored solutions to accelerate the project into a successful and sustainable business. Additionally, HEMEX helps start-ups in their efforts to find non-dilutive and dilutive funding.

At Hemex we are proud to have recognized Scailyte’s potential and to be part of their successful journey.

Online Pitch Event @ HEMEX

Five Promising Swiss Start-ups Pitched their Ventures from the HEMEX Incubator to Renowned Swiss and US Investors 

 

Emovo Care SA is an EPFL spin-off, founded in 2020, developing Emovo Hand – the world’s 1st portable hand orthosis to support care-at-home after a stroke. Based on patent-protected soft robotics technology developed at EPFL, the product provides a natural sensation of moving the hand to hemiparetic stroke patients – to practice functional, comfortable, and intensive exercises at home. Compared to existing solutions, Emovo Hand’s has the additional feature of actively opening the hand – an indispensable function for stroke survivors. Emovo’s connected solution will enable to motivate and measure patients’ progress – to maximize the outcome of care and create value for patients, clinicians, and health insurances.

 

ASPIVIX SA is a medical technology company specializing in Women’s Health, co-founded by three seasoned experts: a gynecologist, a medtech engineer, and a business leader. CAREVIX™ is a next-generation atraumatic cervical device used in gynecological procedures requiring uterus access. A proprietary vacuum & suction-based technology is used to reduce pain, eliminate bleeding, and tissue tear endured by 80 million women worldwide every year during common procedures such as intra-uterine device insertion and hysteroscopy.

 

HexagonFab Ltd is a Zurich-based startup, founded in 2018. HexagonFab’s team has developed a new generation of biosensors for rapid and highly sensitive analysis of biomolecules like antibodies, proteins, and small molecules. This award-winning technology, based on graphene nanomaterial, allows pharmaceutical researchers and production staff to monitor biomolecule quality directly at the production line, which offers a $1B market opportunity.

 

STIMIT AG is a medical device start-up founded in 2018 based on a clinical need identified by intensive care and healthcare professionals. A fully functional prototype and physiological proof-of-concept has been developed by the team. STIMIT is using non-invasive technology to stimulate the core breathing muscle (diaphragm) of ventilated intensive care patients. Fifty percent of these patients have significantly weakened breathing muscles after a few days of ventilation, which leads to difficult recovery and oftentimes death. 

 

PreComb Therapeutics AG, founded in 2018, is developing the first point-of-care solution for clinically relevant drug testing, leveraging patient-derived 3D microtissues for drug development and precision medicine. The 3D3 technology has been tailored to meet the critical requirements for the industrialization of patient-specific functional drug testing. 3D microtumors that reflect the original cell composition and microenvironment are produced from small amounts of tissue to generate a high number of drug efficacy data. 

 

Interested in becoming an early-stage investor in one of these promising start-ups or do you want to be kept informed about their progress and future funding rounds / pitch events?

Please contact our start-up scout Franziska Stemmler at +41 61 927 28 02 or franziska.stemmler@hemex.ch

About HEMEX

HEMEX AG is a privately-owned Swiss investment and consulting company headquartered close to the Basel global life sciences hub, with its main focus to bring innovative drugs, medical devices and in vitro diagnostics to the market. HEMEX specializes in supporting early-stage start-ups, offering tailored solutions to accelerate the project into a successful and sustainable business. Additionally, HEMEX helps start-ups in their efforts to find non-dilutive and dilutive funding. More at https://hemex.eu/

Scailyte is finalist for Nature Research Spinoff Prize!

Congratulations to our portfolio company Scailyte for being selected among the 12 finalists for the Nature Research Spinoff Prize.

The Spinoff Prize is a new Nature Research Award for early-stage university spinoff companies from around the world. The Award has been established by Nature Research in partnership with Merck to showcase and celebrate global excellence in the commercialization of research through the creation of spinoff companies. The Spinoff Prize aims to encourage and provide visibility to academic entrepreneurs and their startups. The judging panel looks for spinoffs that translate original, high-quality scientific research into products and services that address market problems and are well positioned to make a positive impact on society. The focus of this year’s award involves four categories: pharmaceuticals, agriculture, chemicals, and digital technologies. We are particularly proud that Scailyte has reached the finals of this fantastic showcase!

Scailyte is a data-driven biomarker discovery company, that detects complex disease patterns from single-cell data at the onset of disease. Only a small fraction of cells is abnormal, and the changes of the molecular profile are subtle. Scailyte’s technology provides unprecedented insights into diseases by uncovering hidden “single-cell” secrets. With an AI-driven approach, Scailyte is unlocking the potential of single-cell data for early diagnostics. Scailyte is ranked among the Top100 Swiss Startups since 2019 and has won the MassChallenge Switzerland in 2018.

Hemex is a privately-owned swiss investment and consulting company headquartered close to the Basel global life sciences hub, with its focus to bring innovative drugs, medical devices, and in vitro diagnostics to the market. HEMEX specializes in supporting early-stage start-ups, offering tailored solutions to accelerate the project into a successful and sustainable business. Additionally, HEMEX helps start-ups in their efforts to find non-dilutive and dilutive funding.

At Hemex we are proud to have recognized Scailyte’s potential and to be part of their successful journey.

How Animal Health Innovation Enabled a Rapid and Reliable SARS-CoV-2 Diagnostic Test Kit

In the battle of fighting against COVID-19, a rapid test is crucial to understand the spread of the pandemic.

The Swiss start-up LiVET that originally developed diagnostic tests for respiratory diseases in horses has accelerated their platforms to detect COVID-19 in human samples, establishing a newly incorporated company ender diagnostics ag. Undeniably, ender is a fascinating example of how health developments can be transferred from animal health technology into human health. ender’s isothermal technology utilizes a single temperature for all the steps providing a dramatic decrease of detection time when comparing to the gold standard polymerase-chain-reaction (PCR). In addition, its 30-minute turnover platform can support a relatively small sample size, no need for waiting for a large sample size in a batch. Thus, it is flexible and efficient to operate in laboratories.

Besides the currently sold CE-marked detection kit ender LAB, the company is developing its new outstanding platforms, ender MAS and ender MOBILE, which provide much simplified steps for the sample handling and for point-of-care purpose.

As of 25 June, the cost of all coronavirus tests, including coronavirus and antibody tests, will be covered by the Swiss federal government, implying that people would be more willing to get themselves tested (source: The Federal Council). The Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) has encouraged people to participate in prevention efforts by installing the SwissCovid app, a proximity tracing system to help in contact tracing and informing people who have spent a certain time with someone who tested positive for coronavirus.

Hand holding mobile with geoHealthApp for COVID-19 tracking

A similar app has been already launched in Switzerland in April by GeoHealthApp, a german start-up supported by HEMEX.

In an estimated 8,000 tests per day carried out in Switzerland, the need for tests is still increasing (source: thelocal.ch). A prediction model of Prof. Dirk Mohr at ETH Zurich suggests that the second pandemic wave would develop more slowly but potentially more deadly (source: Swissinfo). The good news is that it would not overload the Swiss healthcare capacity and we could better prepare in testing and tracing the population. There is no doubt that start-ups such as ender diagnostics play a pivotal role in this battle of COVID-19.

In summary, with the increased availability of advanced testing kits and tracing apps, we can now better monitor the current pandemic status in Switzerland and respond rapidly in order to prevent catastrophic local outbreaks.

HEMEX supports LiVET, ender diagnostics, and GeoHealthApp with clinical, regulatory and market access services.

For more information, see Swissinfo.ch.

ARTIDIS Meets Primary Endpoints in First Prospective Study

Our portfolio company ARTIDIS announces today promising data from their first prospective study conducted at the Breast Center in Basel, Switzerland. The spin-off from the Biozentrum at the University of Basel has succesfully developed the first nanomechanical biomarker for cancer diagnosis and treatment optimization. 

 

ARTIDIS AG CLINICAL STUDY PRESS RELEASE_ULTIMATE_FINAL_fixed_mgmt_Dr Burian alone

 

HEMEX AG is a privately-owned Swiss investment and consulting company headquartered close to the Basel global life sciences hub, with its main focus to bring innovative drugs, medical devices and in vitro diagnostics to the market. HEMEX specializes in supporting early-stage start-ups, offering tailored solutions to accelerate the project into a successful and sustainable business. Additionally, HEMEX helps start-ups in their efforts to find non-dilutive and dilutive funding. More at https://hemex.eu/

Rapid COVID-19 Diagnostic Test – launched by ender diagnostics!

Swiss-based start-up ender diagnostics develops rapid molecular tests for the detection of SARS-CoV-2. The first rapid test has just been CE -certified and can now be used in laboratories worldwide.

What makes the ender LAB and subsequent ender MAS test outstanding is not just that the result is obtained within 30 minutes, but also that its accuracy is comparable to the current gold standard. The ender team has extensive experience in developing molecular biological rapid tests. 

PR_CE mark for ender LAB_20200615

 

 

HEMEX supports ender’s team with clinical, regulatory and marketing services. HEMEX’s regulatory experts will support with the CE-certification of the test as an in vitro diagnostic medical device under the European In Vitro Diagnostic Regulation (IVDR). 

Swiss Innovation Challenge – 2nd Round!

Numerous Swiss and European start-ups and SME’s applied for this year’s Swiss Innovation Challenge! In the 1st pitching round, 100 innovative participants presented their projects in front of a competent jury.  Selected start-ups also benefit from a comprehensive support platform with individual coaching, tailored education, and mentoring, as well as get access to potential investors and business partners.

Next, 50 ventures move on to the 2nd pitching round in this challenge. Start-ups and SMEs continue to receive expert support to accelerate their innovative projects and face the competition through three elimination rounds in total. In addition to the main award, participants can win special prizes in the fields of “Globalization”, “Life Sciences” and “Construction”.

Within the Life Sciences Start-ups, we are proud to see 3 HEMEX portfolio start-ups!

 

GeneLook logoGeneLook enables patients to actively use their genetic data in a meaningful way by allowing the healthcare ecosystem to utilize their data in order to facilitate discoveries of new treatments. GeneLook strategically focuses on rare disease patients, to further characterize their diseases, and to improve and accelerate the medical treatment journey.

 

Hi-D Imaging logo

Hi-D Imaging is an ETHZ spin-off aiming to revolutionize the cardiovascular sector by making personalized heart valve replacement therapy a reality. Hi-D (pronounced “Heidi”) develops the world’s first AI-based pre-operational planning platform to assess different heart valves for the patient-specific anatomy, and recommends the optimum shape and size of the valve to the surgeon. The start-up’s technology will increase the quality-of-life of the patient, decrease complications, reduce long-term costs, and increase the overall success rate of the surgery.

 

Resistell logoResistell is an EPFL spin-off developing world’s fastest antibiotic susceptibility test in order to help physicians around the world save patients’ lives. Resistell’s solution is needed more than ever due to increasing antimicrobial resistance, emergency of side effects due to potent antibiotics, not the least in the context of global pandemics. Its life-saving technology is based on the detection of movement caused by living bacterial cells and provides information on which antibiotic should be used to treat the patient, and the concentration at which it should be administered

 

HEMEX is a Bench-to-Market Life Science Provider. We support life science start-ups with a wide range of expertise, either in-house or via our network of pre-qualified experts, laboratories, CMOs, warehouses, logistic partners and affiliates. Our development team supports with Quality Assurance, Medical and Regulatory Affairs, Clinical Operations, Biostatistics, Medical Writing and eSubmissions.