Swiss startup LiVET gains international attention

Tim Pfister of LiVET presenting among 20 top animal health startups at Animal Health Investment Europe 2020

Recognized by the premium investment forum – Animal Health Investment Europe 2020 – LiVET has been selected among 20 top animal health startups to present their rapid on-site diagnostic solution in front of the industry’s most influential figures and investors.

LiVET is a Swiss startup with a profound knowledge and expertise in molecular detection of microorganisms. Their rapid molecular point-of-care diagnostic tests provide early and correct diagnosis of infectious diseases in animals. Lab-quality results are guaranteed within 30 min, for up to 16 samples at once, which allows for immediate and specific treatment. By bringing the application of specialized laboratories closer to the patients they strive to increase the quality of animal health care. Working closely with LiVET our team at Hemex supported them in further developing their marketing efforts as well as to improve their odds in fundraising process by building a compelling visual presentation for their London pitch.

Tim Pfister of LiVET presenting among 20 top animal health startups at Animal Health Investment Europe 2020 Tim Pfister of LiVET presenting among 20 top animal health startups at Animal Health Investment Europe 2020As the animal health industry experiences a shift towards the detection and prevention of disease rather than simply the treatment of it, the Animal Health Investment Europe 2020 forum focuses on presenting innovation in nutritional health, data analytics, sensors and diagnostics. While showcasing the most exciting investment opportunities in animal health and nutrition the forum is also connecting those businesses with financial investors and strategic corporate partners. Bringing together academics, investors, startups and industry leaders animal health and nutrition companies are given a great opportunity to learn from and adapt to the impacts of disruptive technologies as well as possibility to meet face-to-face with decision makers from the full spectrum of the animal pharma and nutritional health industry.

Life-Saving Diagnosis for Mother and Child

Mathias Wipf of MOMM Diagnostics in laboratory

Preeclampsia is a particularly dreaded pregnancy complication that threatens the lives of mother and child. A correct diagnosis, however, is currently time-consuming and, in many cases, inaccurate. The Empa spin-off “MOMM Diagnostics” is developing a fast and precise test that provides diagnostic certainty and at the same time saves healthcare costs.

/documents/56164/11774157/Momm_Aufmacher/988b8f1d-08b6-42c9-93aa-371b41a45a8a?t=1579686586867

MOMM Diagnostics develops a new test that offers pregnant women precise and rapid certainty. Image: iStock

Nausea, swollen hands or shortness of breath sound like typical symptoms that pregnant women have to deal with. However, these unspecific symptoms can also be signs of a disease in progress. Preeclampsia often gradually creeps up as a general discomfort and goes widely and unnoticed – until mother and child suddenly become a medical emergency, which in severe cases can even lead to death. In Switzerland, around two percent of all pregnant women suffer from the condition; each year around 500,000 children and 76,000 mothers die worldwide.

As dangerous as the complex clinical picture is, its cause is still unclear. Pathological changes to the blood vessels, blood pressure regulation and internal organs can lead to premature births, organ failure and, ultimately, even to the death of mother and child. In its early stages pre-eclampsia can be slowed down with simple treatments such as aspirin and magnesium. However, it is difficult to diagnose preeclampsia swiftly and reliably – until now, that is. The Basel-based company “MOMM Diagnostics”, a new Empa spin-off, is developing a simple and precise test that provides certainty within minutes.

Optimal treatment

At present, two physical changes, which are both consequences of the disease, are the common diagnostic criteria for pre-eclampsia: If the mother’s blood pressure rises and certain proteins are found in her urine, the likelihood for pre-eclampsia is high. The problem is: The two symptoms could also be linked to other conditions and thus lead to unnecessary hospitalizations or even false treatments. What’s more, if the mother really suffers from preeclampsia, blood circulation and kidney function will already be affected at the time of diagnosis. This is where the “MOMM Diagnostics” assay comes in. “We are analyzing two very specific biomarkers in the maternal blood,” explains Mathias Wipf, CEO and co-founder of the company. With a highly sensitive immunoassay, the two markers are detected in tiny concentrations of several picograms per milliliter using antibodies. The specificity and sensitivity of the test are significantly higher than those of the current clinical diagnosis.

Tiny Biosensor

And the elegant thing about it is that the tiny biosensor for detecting the markers is printed on a paper strip. A drop of blood from the mother’s finger is enough to detect the molecules. “Basically the system resembles a pregnancy test,” says the researcher who developed the biosensor in Empa’s “Transport at Nanoscale Interfaces” lab. “However, the results are analyzed electronically.” This is another advantage of the new test: The paper strip can be evaluated with a compact reader. Since pregnant women regularly go to medical check-ups anyway, the test can be carried out in the gynecologist’s practice and there is no need to ship blood samples to a specialized diagnostics lab. This saves valuable time – time, in which treatment can already be started.

Stressful false alarm

Mathias Wipf, CEO and co-founder of MOMM Diagnostics, relies on highly specific biomarkers. Image: Empa
 

Another benefit of this rapid screening method should not be underestimated: The expectant mother is spared the long wait for a lab result, and there is no uncertainty as to whether the preventive referral to hospital corresponds to the threat to her state. Because a false positive result of the conventional test, which only turns out to be false alarm a few days later, can sometimes cause a great deal of anxiety, which one would like to spare pregnant women.

Markus Hodel, Head of Obstetrics and Fetomaternal Medicine at the Kantonsspital Luzern, is often confronted with patients suffering from preeclampsia. He welcomes the development of the new MOMM test. “This allows us to individually assess the risk of the expectant mother at an early stage,” says Hodel. In addition, the monitoring of high-risk pregnancies and the adequate treatment of patients can be optimized. “Since the test also has the potential to avoid unnecessary hospitalization, the burden on the healthcare system could be reduced,” says the clinician. Previously, patients were admitted to hospital as a precaution if the results of the conventional test were considered suspicious. However, a study involving Hodel’s team now shows that a sensitive test, such as the new MOMM biosensor technology, which can be carried out directly at the gynecologist’s practice, has significant savings potential. In Switzerland, savings of around two million Swiss francs in healthcare costs could be achieved annually if a “point-of-care” test, or POC test for short, were to be used by a gynecologist.

Large market potential

In the US, the technology is already patent pending. Mathias Wipf and his team are currently developing a prototype; close cooperation is planned with CSEM in Neuchâtel and the University of Applied Sciences Northwestern Switzerland. The Empa spin-off, founded in 2018, is supported by a “FET Innovation Launch Pad”, an EU funding program for start-ups in the field of “Future and Emerging Technologies”. And from 2020, new investors can join the start-up company. The biosensor POC test is expected to be ready to hit the market by 2023. Due to the large market potential, Wipf expects double-digit million sales figures already within the first five years. The location for research, development and production in Basel is expected to grow to 25 headcounts.

MOMM Diagnostics is currently starting a project supported by the Swiss Agency for Innovation Promotion (Innosuisse) together with the University of applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland and the Swiss research and development center CSEM.

HEMEX supports MOMM Diagnostics with funding and investor relations through its Innosuisse Coaching Program.

ARTIDIS Gains Momentum in 2019 Raising CHF 8.8 Million in Seed Financing

Startup off the ground

ARTIDIS AG, a privately held healthtech company, announced today the successful closure of a CHF 8.8 million seed financing in two rounds securing early clinical validation and the next development phase towards market entry in 2021.

The funding will be used to advance the company’s healthtech platform into a large multi-centre clinical study together with the University Hospital Tuebingen (Germany), University Hospital Barcelona (Spain), and Texas Medical Center (Houston, US). The study aims to further validate the value of ARTIDIS in diagnosing breast and lung cancer, as well as for personalizing and optimizing cancer treatment. The results will support the regulatory submissions to the FDA and the European Notified Body to gain approval for the ARTIDIS medical device and data platform. This is one of the major prerequisites for ARTIDIS to enter the diagnostic market world-wide in 2021 in order to improve the standard of care for cancer patients.

Dr. Marija Plodinec, CEO of ARTIDIS commented: “The closure of this financing round and the successful recruitment of 545 patients in our first clinical study at the University Hospital Basel this year is a huge success. We are thankful for the support and trust of all our shareholders – together, we are opening a new chapter towards personalizing the patient journey.”

The round was supported by family offices and private individuals from Switzerland and EU including BERNINA Bioinvest, Zurich and SMD MedicalTrade AG, Taegerwilen.

“We are extremely happy for the opportunity to invest in this promising company and support the great team of ARTIDIS on their mission to deliver fast diagnosis and personalized treatment to cancer patients.” – stated Philipp Looser from SMD Medical Trade AG.

The management of BERNINA BioInvest commented: “ARTIDIS brings the future of cancer diagnostics and treatment to the patients and clinicians. We support ARTIDIS, because their approach will significantly optimize the diagnostics workflow and has the potential to revolutionize the way treatment decision-making is done, improving not only the personal patient journey but benefiting the whole healthcare ecosystem. We are confident that Marija Plodinec and her team have the expertise, the passion, and the drive needed to realize this vision.”

Martin Gertsch, Chairman of the Board says: “We are very glad that we could also strengthen our Board of Directors during this year: Owing to their significant industry experience and diverse subject matter expertise, Ms Trudi Haemmerli, Board Member Innosuisse, and Dr. Reinhard Ambros, former Global Head of Novartis Venture Fund, were both elected as Board of Directors this year.”

About ARTIDIS AG

ARTIDIS AG is a spinoff from the Biozentrum, University of Basel, Switzerland, that has developed the first nanomechanical biomarker for cancer diagnosis and treatment optimization. ARTIDIS nanotechnology platform integrates different types of clinical data into the ARTIDISNet digital platform, allowing physicians to significantly shorten the current diagnostic process and bringing benefit to both the patient and the healthcare system. ARTIDIS enables professionals to design personalized cancer treatment plans tailored to the individual patient needs and desired outcomes. For more information, please visit www.artidis.com.

For further information please contact:

ARTIDIS AG
Dr. Marija Plodinec, CEO
Phone: +41 61 633 29 95
marija.plodinec@artidis.com
www.artidis.com

How do you support your community?

Child in creative learning environment

At Hemex we are committed to our community and are constantly looking for ways to give back. We are especially mindful of educational programs with a long-term positive impact.

That’s why we back Advancience Ltd., who made it their misson to develop a new game-based assessment to diagnose ADHD in children. Additionally, we support Schule für Offenes Lernen (www.offeneslernen.ch) – where engaged teachers create a learning environment that benefits each child in his or her intellectual exploration – with financial and in-kind donations.Child in creative learning environment

 

HEMEX awarded Horizon 2020 grant

career options in consulting life sciences startups

The European Commission has awarded a consortium led by AMT Medical including HEMEX with a 2.2 MEUR grant under its “Fast-Track to Innovation (FTI)” program.

Under the proposal HEMEX will plan, coordinate and execute a multicentric, pan-European study in order to obtain CE-mark for the Excimer Laser Assisted Non-occlusive Anastomosis (ELANA) Heart Bypass System in Patients undergoing Coronary Artery Bypass Grafts (CABG), with the goal of achieving market approval in less than 36 months.

For more information on the progress of this life-changing therapy, please contact franziska.stemmler@hemex.ch. If you need advice on obtaining non-dilutive funding, help with writing your proposal, or forming a consortium with experienced partners, get in touch with us.

Co-funded by the Horizon 2020 Framework Programme of the European Union and the Grant Agreement (GA) No. 869922.

Sleepiz wins 50’000 CHF at W. A. De Vigier startup competition

Our portfolio company Sleepiz won a 50’000 CHF prize (including alumni contribution) at this year’s 30th anniversary edition of the W. A. De Vigier Foundation startup competition. Congratulations to Soumya and and the entire Sleepiz team! 

About Sleepiz

Untreated sleep apnea patients suffer from a multitude of diurnal and nocturnal symptoms, such as loud snoring, sleepiness, irritability, headaches, insomnia, and difficulties to concentrate. These alone lead to productivity loss and significantly increase the risk of provoking car accidents. Moreover, unmanaged disease put patients in danger of developing hypertension, obesity, heart disease, depression, and stroke. This affects not only the health and wellbeing, but also creates a huge economic burden for the employers and the healthcare system.

Sleepiz makes diagnosis easy, comfortable and accessible.

About Hemex

Hemex supports start-ups as well as established medical device, biotech and pharmaceutical companies with a wide range of expertise, either in-house or via their network of dedicated partners and affiliates. Hemex’ experts have several decades of combined experience in the pharmaceutical and medical technology industry with pivotal contributions to the development and approval of innovative products. Hemex supports companies in their interactions with the investor community and also offers interesting collaboration programs, including public and private seed funding. 

More pictures of the event can be found here

BioReperia wins Swissbiolabs Award 2019

At the Swiss Diagnostics Startup Day in Olten, our portfolio company BioReperia won the 1st prize of the jury and the 2nd prize awarded by an audience of industry professionals.

Congratulations to the winner of the Swissbiolabs Challenge 2019, Dr. Anna Fahlgren, runner-ups Marc Moghbel and Karim Brandt and 3rd place Dr. Christian Vogler for their innovative business ideas and inspiring presentations!

About BioReperia

Bioreperia is a Swedish company, located at Linköpings University, that increases the success rate in clinical trials using zebrafish models. BioReperia’s researchers have more than 10 years experience developing and using zebrafish models for medical research including toxicology and tumor biology. Its models are today widely used in both academic and industrial research and drug development projects around the globe.

About Hemex

Hemex supports start-ups as well as established medical device, biotech and pharmaceutical companies with a wide range of expertise, either in-house or via their network of dedicated partners and affiliates. Hemex’ experts have several decades of combined experience in the pharmaceutical and medical technology industry with pivotal contributions to the development and approval of innovative products. Hemex supports companies in their interactions with the investor community and also offers interesting collaboration programs, including public and private seed funding. 

More pictures of the event can be found here

Who is Switzerland’s Most Promising Startup 2019?

Switzerland is home to hundreds of excellent startups. Every year the TOP 100 Swiss Startup Award showcases the 100 most-innovative and promising Swiss startups. The event, a unique opportunity to discover the best of Swiss innovation, sees a jury of 100 leading investors and experts rank the country’s most-impactful new high-tech companies. You can vote too.

The public choice, which runs in parallel to the expert ranking, is your chance to highlight an excellent Swiss startup and give them exposure to an audience of international investors on stage at the award night and across the event’s media and magazines.

Visit www.startup.ch to vote for your choice of the most impactful startup. All Swiss startups that are listed on startup.ch and incorporated on or after January 1st, 2014 are eligible for your vote. Click the golden logo ‘vote now’ button on the startup’s profile to register your voice. You can vote from anywhere in the world, but have one vote, so choose carefully!

Leverage 
Founders, family, friends and fans can support their favorite startups, and encourage others to vote using the hashtag #TOP100SSU. Last year’s winner of the public vote, SmallPDF, drew votes by encouraging every visitor to their website to vote.

Who are Switzerland’s Best Startups? 
The announcement of Switzerland’s TOP 100 startups will be made live at the TOP 100 Swiss Startup Award 2019 on September 4th. Until then, we’ll update you on the current standings of the public vote in Venturelab’s newsletter. Subscribe to follow the results, and news about Switzerlands’s most-ambitious entrepreneurs and most-promising high-tech companies.  

Our recommendations:

Annaida Technologies

Artidis

Resistell

Scailyte

Sleepiz

 

Resistell finalist at the annual Startup Champions Seed Night

 

Danuta Cichocka of HEMEX’s portfolio company Resistell AG had 90 seconds to explain what she does and how much money she needs to take her startup to the next level. She was one of four up-and-coming entrepreneurs who made the best pitch at the annual Startup Champions Seed Night.

To the video

Swisscom Startup Challenge 2019

The Swisscom StartUp Challenge is an exclusive opportunity for five Swiss tech start-ups to take part in a one-week Business Acceleration Programme in Silicon Valley. 30 companies have benefited from the Acceleration Programme over the last six years and Swisscom Ventures has invested in six of these start-ups.

Swisscom, in partnership with Venturelab, is looking for Swiss-based high-tech start-ups – in particular in the fields of Artificial Intelligence, ICT, Fintech, Blockchain, Digital Marketing, Security, IOT, Robotics, Drones – who want to conquer the world with their products or services.

The five best applicants will win a business acceleration programme in Silicon Valley, as well as a chance of investment or collaboration with Swisscom. The application deadline is on May 19th, 2019. On July 5th, ten finalists will be announced and they will pitch in front of a top-class jury on August 22nd. The five winners will be announced on the same day and the roadshow to Silicon Valley will take place from October 20th to 26th. 

The start-ups can expect the following in Silicon Valley:

  • One-week business acceleration programme – tailored to the start-up’s specific objectives
  • Access to the broad network of the Swisscom Outpost in Silicon Valley
  • Mentoring and challenging by Swisscom Ventures, investors and Business Angels
  • Meetings with potential clients and partners
  • Inspiration and trend scouting in the most important location for the IT and high-tech industry
  • Consideration of business collaboration with Swisscom
  • Consideration of investment by Swisscom Ventures
  • A chance to share ideas with like-minded people and an unforgettable time in California

More Information about the programme at: swisscom.ch/challenge

 

PLEASE NOTICE: companies, in which Swisscom has already invested, are not eligible to apply for the Swisscom StartUp Challenge.

Grab the opportunity and apply today for the Swisscom StartUp Challenge 2019! Just press the “apply with LinkedIn” button below.

 

Apply here