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

Basel, Switzerland, December 5th, 2019 – ARTIDIS AG (“ARTIDIS”), 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.”


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

For further information please contact:

Dr. Marija Plodinec, CEO
Phone: +41 61 633 29 95

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

Solothurn, May 27, 2019


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

Olten, May 23, 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 to vote for your choice of the most impactful startup. All Swiss startups that are listed on 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!

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






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:


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

Sleepiz wins Start Summiteer competition

At the Start Summit held last week in St. Gallen, Sleepiz was crowned the Start Summiteer 2019. The start-up develops a solution helping more than 1 billion people with sleep disorders. 

Last week the start summit in St. Gallen brought together 3000 players in the startup ecosystem – from students to startups, investors, corporates and startup enthusiasts from all over Europe. Besides a broad range of workshops, meetings, insightful keynote speeches and panel discussions, the audience had numerous networking opportunities during the two day event.

One of the highlights was the celebration of the winner of the Start Summiteer, a startup competition in which startups present to the audience and in front of a jury in contest for a CHF 25’000 cash prize. The award attracted more than 350 applications out of which 12 startups made it to the semi-finalists and only six had the opportunity to present their solution in a three minute pitch. The finalists include: Nanoglue, Kemaro, Sleepiz, RetinAI, Fun with Balls and 9TLabs.

The jury nominated Sleepiz for their innovative sleep analysis solution as the winner. The start-up receives a cash prize of CHF 25’000. While more than 1 billion people are suffering from sleeping disorders only 20 percent of them are diagnosed. This is not only due to the time consuming procedure but also due to high costs involved. Sleepiz addresses this challenge to enable people with sleep disorders (Insomnia) to improve the quality of their sleep cheaply and non-invasively.

The startup developed a touchless device that captures vital signs and sleep environment data in real-time with medical grade accuracy using an AI algorithm. The cloud-based solution saves time and money, therefore a higher number of patients can be screened for sleep disorders in a more efficient way. While the company moves forward, the team is now in the process of obtaining certification.

Scailyte raises CHF 2.75M in seed funding and gains Swisscom Ventures & Zürcher Kantonalbank as investors

Scailyte AG, a Swiss startup in the emerging and rapidly growing field of single-cell technologies, raised CHF 2.75M in seed funding and gained Swisscom Ventures as a strategic investor. Zürcher Kantonalbank also joined the financing round, alongside the existing shareholders, thus reaffirming their trust in the competence and vision of Scailyte’s team. Dominique Megret, Head of Swisscom Ventures, will join the Board of Directors of Scailyte, along with Pascal Winnen, CEO of Hemex AG.

Scailyte develops artificial intelligence (AI) based software for best-in-class analysis of complex single-cell data to enhance biomedical research, pharmaceutical discovery and precision diagnostics. The software for biomedical research, commercialized under the brand ScaiVision, will be launched in the beginning of 2019. Scailyte also offers biomarker discovery services to companies aiming to complement and enrich their analysis by adding the single-cell perspective.

The raised capital will be used to enhance the market entry and to speed up further development of ScaiVision, allowing it to be more accessible and attractive to a wider range of customers.

There is a huge potential in the single-cell technologies. Renowned magazine The Scientist has just published this year’s Top 10 Innovations – a ranking done by a panel of Key Opinion Leaders from the life sciences, which features four technologies for single-cell analysis. According to The Scientist, the advantage of capturing these reams of biological information on the level of a single-cell is revealing the variety within tissues not detectable in pooled samples. This may allow scientists to more accurately detect disease specifics.

“The future of healthcare is about detecting and understanding valuable information hidden in complex data patterns.” says Peter Nestorov, CEO of Scailyte AG. “With our AI-based software for single-cell data interpretation, we will accelerate biomedical discovery and enable the next generation of precision diagnostics. With the support of strong partners like Swisscom Ventures and Zürcher Kantonalbank, we will grow to become pioneers and leaders in the fast emerging Single-Cell Analysis market, enabling the clinical application of single-cell data. “

Dominique Megret, Head of Swisscom Ventures, who will join the Board of Directors, explained “Swisscom Ventures invests in software applications based on powerful machine learning algorithms. We believe the single-cell analysis technology will bring precision medicine to the next level. We were impressed by Scailyte’s team, who bring together unique skills from both computational biology and Next-Generation Sequencing device markets. “

Also joining Scailyte’s Board of Directors will be Pascal Winnen, CEO of Hemex AG, who commented: ”Hemex has supported the development of  several innovative therapies and immediately recognized the potential of Scailyte’s technology to unlock “big data” in order to find more precise, personalized cures and even detect diseases before they manifest clinically in patients. We are proud to join Scailyte at the forefront of AI single-cell data analysis.”


Company descriptions

Swisscom Ventures is the venture capital arm of the Swisscom Group, the leading telecommunications and one of the leading IT companies in Switzerland. Since its inception in 2007, Swisscom has acquired minority stakes in over 50 companies with a strong focus on digital media, IT and telecommunications. Swisscom Ventures offices are located in the innovation hubs of Switzerland (Zurich and Lausanne) and the USA (Silicon Valley). As a strategic investor, they invest in companies that are strategically relevant to the Swisscom business. In return, they offer entrepreneurs access to telecommunications expertise, technical infrastructure and marketing channels – in addition to financial support. For more information:

Zürcher Kantonalbank is a leading universal bank in the Zurich economic area with Swiss roots and international reach. It is an independent, incorporated public-law institution of the Canton of Zurich and has received top ratings from the rating agencies Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s and Fitch (AAA/Aaa). With more than 5,000 employees, Zürcher Kantonalbank offers its clients a comprehensive range of products and services. The bank’s core activities include financing businesses, asset and wealth management, trading, capital market transactions, deposits, payment transactions and the card business. Zürcher Kantonalbank provides clients and distribution partners with a comprehensive range of investment and retirement provision products and services. More at:

Hemex AG 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 at

Scailyte AG was founded in Luzern, Switzerland in July 2017.  Scailyte is officially recognized as ETH Zurich spin-off. The company has been accepted in the Innosuisse coaching program (Swiss Innovation Agency) and won the first place at MassChallenge Switzerland program. The team comprises of 9 members with a diverse expertise, ranging from Cell biology, Artificial Intelligence, Software development, Finance, Marketing and Sales.

ScaiVision software will be commercialized as a closed-source, cloud-based software for biomedical research and pharmaceutical discovery in Q1-2019. The software  will offer best-in-class performance for supervised pattern recognition analysis of single-cell data. The performance and clinically-relevant application of the core deep learning algorithm of the software has been demonstrated in a scientific publication by Prof. Claassen, one of the founders of the Company. Scailyte has conducted various Proof-of-Concepts in 2018, one of which with a leading clinical research center in Berlin. The company is currently in negotiations with leading blue-chip companies for biomarker discovery as a service and has started its first clinical study. For more information:

Artidis: Cancer diagnosis in less than 3 hours

Marija Plodinec, CEO of Artidis (Img: Technologiepark Basel)

“Artidis is based on the oldest diagnostic test on earth: palpation,” says Marija Plodinec, CEO and co-founder of Artidis AG. “In a nutshell, we palpate tissue on a molecular level,“ she adds with a twinkle. That’s because instead of a physician’s hand, Artidis runs a fine, high-precision 20 nanometer probe across a biopsy surface to measure local nanomechanical properties of tissue components, such as different cells and matrix scaffolds. The exciting technology yields swift and precise oncological diagnostics – in less than three hours.

Artidis’ beginnings can be placed squarely in the PhD thesis of Marija Plodinec. Already some 10 years ago, she pondered the idea to measure tissue with atomic force microscopy for cancer diagnosis. Founded as a spin-off from the University of Basel in 2014, by November 2017 Artidis had already grown enough to move to the Technologiepark Basel – where they quickly got to work: “We recognized early on that we needed patient data for clinical validation – so we launched a joint collaboration with the University of Basel and the University Hospital.”

Possibly Switzerland’s record-breaking prospective single center trial 
Before long, the start-up ventured into its own clinical trials. “This made us stand out early. For most medtech companies in the field, it’s just not common to do early clinical validation”, says Plodinec. And it is still a competitive edge of Artidis: In early 2019, the company plans to complete a clinical trial currently underway in collaboration with the Pathology division and with the Breast Center, the University Hospital Basel and Biozentrum Basel, a research and teaching institute of the University. For this joint trial, Artidis and its partners are recruiting an impressive 508 breast cancer patients. That is potentially record-breaking, CEO Plodinec emphasizes: “Together, we’re running one of the biggest prospective single center trials in Switzerland!”

Artidis’ other competitive advantages are speed and precision. “Clinicians will be able to diagnose cancer within less than 3 hours – which is a great relief for patients, of course.” But it equally takes pressure off the hospital system. “You need to understand: 75 percent of patients going into a biopsy don’t have cancer. Those terrible moments of uncertainty for the patient are prolonged by a hospital that needs to run numerous procedures before diagnosis and the appropriate treatment plan are set”, explains Plodinec. Artidis’ timely results offer a solution: They ease the psychological and financial burden on both patient and health provider.

Another goal of Marija Plodinec and her team is treatment optimization based on predicting post-diagnosis cancer development. “We want to understand exactly how a metastatic cell in a breast travels to a lung, a liver or a bone. How it leaves the primary tumor, squeezes through different tissues and invades other organs.” To detect these soft, aggressive cells in the primary cancer tumors essentially means finding cells with metastatic potential before they actually start spreading and killing the patient. The high precision and sensitivity of Artidis’ technology enables the detection of such cells even though they are sparse and account only for approximately 3 percent of the tumor. Furthermore, these diagnostic results are systematically combined with individualized clinical information and cross-referenced with millions of existing data sets in the company’s ArtidisNet platform. ArtidisNet provides clinicians with AI-powered data and analytical tools needed to personalize and adjust the most promising treatment options.


“Technologiepark Basel is the place to be”

An extensive local nanotechnology tradition made Artidis’ initial choice of Basel a no-brainer. Once at home in the Technologiepark, the early-stage collaboration with the University Hospital made it easy to stay. Marija Plodinec explains: “Basel provides a unique environment: People’s workplaces and labs are always close-by and inter-connected. We can literally go across the street and talk to clinicians every day. The importance of this can’t be overstated as clinicians need time for their patients which makes it hard to get them involved in new research and technology development.” It nearly goes without saying that in the Technologiepark Basel, Artidis also found a perfect infrastructure: A fully equipped lab, top-notch offices and administrative services at an affordable price – the complete package, according to Plodinec: “If you are a start-up and you really want to focus on your work, Technologiepark Basel is the place to be”

Technologiepark Basel  (Img: Technologiepark Basel AG)


As for what’s in the works for Artidis, the CEO’s vision is focused: Clinical trial completion in spring 2019, finalizing the comprehensive ArtidisNet platform, going on CE mark and FDA validation in 2019 and 2020 respectively – and get ready for growth. For application of Artidis nanotechnology is not limited to breast cancer diagnosis and treatment only, but allows disease diagnostics and treatment optimization using any type of tissue. Accordingly, Marija Plodinec is beaming with optimism: “In a not too distant future, we will be able to equip hospitals and to facilitate cancer diagnosis everywhere.”

Artidis AG

Artidis AG, a spin-off from University of Basel founded by Dr. Plodinec and colleagues, seeks to build a distinctive and independent medtech company by pursuing the development and commercialization of the Artidis platform. Artidis combines fast and precise tissue measurements at molecular length scale powered by AI driven data analytics. Based on a single test, patients can receive their diagnosis and an individual, optimized treatment proposal.


Technologiepark Basel                   
The Technologiepark Basel is the premier address for early-stage tech start-ups in Basel that transform knowledge into marketable products and services. It offers a collaboration-friendly, yet business-driven environment and is part of the rapidly growing Stücki Park in the dynamic northern part of Basel. Tenants are selected carefully to ensure a high level of innovation.

Resistell Closes Seed Round to Develop Faster Antibiotic Tests

Press release: Resistell AG closes seed round

Resistell AG has today closed an oversubscribed seed financing round. Lead Investor Occident Group AG, Hemex AG and six other private investors invested in the EPFL spin-off developing the world’s fastest phenotypic antibiotic susceptibility test.

700,000 people die each year due to drug resistant infections. Unless we can halt this trend, we face a death toll of up to 10 million people a year by 2050. It’s a problem which is exacerbated by the fact that many patients aren’t prescribed the correct antibiotic on time. To positively influence the course of treatment, it is essential to speedily determine which antibiotics the microbe still responds to. The start-up Resistell has been able to achieve reliable results of this kind many times faster than conventional antibiotic sensitivity tests. The movements of living bacteria from the sample are captured using nanotechnology and Atomic Force Microscopy-based techniques. If an effective antibiotic is applied, the bacteria die, and their movements cease. The Resistell method takes only hours to complete instead of the usual timescale of days. Patients can be treated with the right medication from day one.

The EPFL and the Resistell team of physicists, physicians and microbiologists have been researching the development of the diagnostic tool since 2012. The inventors, Prof. Giovanni Dietler and Dr. Sandor Kasas, have raised over 2 million CHF in non-dilutive funding from EPFL, Gebert Rüf Foundation and the SNSF National Research Programme “Antimicrobial Resistance” (NRP 72) for the technology development. Using those funds, the proof-of-concept, 3rd generation prototype and first successful test on samples from University Hospital in Lausanne (CHUV) have been achieved.

Resistell AG was incorporated in April 2018 in Basel to take the technology to the next level and to transfer the laboratory prototypes into a Minimal Viable Product that could be easily operated by laboratory technicians in hospital laboratories. In the long-term, Resistell is aiming to become the Gold Standard in phenotypic antibiotic susceptibility testing.

In summer 2018 the European patent for the device and method was granted. With that, Resistell was perfectly placed to raise the funds needed for the next development stage. “It has been extremely important for Resistell, to attract investors who not only have the financial capacity to help us further develop the product but who also understand the importance of making the technology available to the physicians who fight every day for the lives of patients with antibiotic-resistant infections. And we have succeeded.” – said the CEO, Danuta Cichocka.

Mr. Derek Brandt, CEO at & Senior Global Vice President at Sensile Medical AG (recently acquired by Gerresheimer) and Mr. Michal Bartos, CEO at ARTO AG, Business Angel and former Global Head of Commercial Operations at Merck, have joined the Board of Directors. Prof. Gilbert Greub, Head of Microbiology Diagnostics at CHUV and Director of the Institute of Microbiology at the University of Lausanne (UNIL) is a Chief Scientific Advisor at Resistell. He has enabled the creation of a dedicated Atomic Force Microscopy laboratory in the Institute of Microbiology, where the Resistell’s devices are currently being tested.

After the closing of this round, Resistell is moving to the new premises in Muttenz.


About Occident Group AG

Occident Group is an international, privately held investment company based in Zug (Switzerland). Occident’s goal is to manage its own wealth in a sustainable, meaningful manner seeking to make a positive contribution to society through the investments. A young, dynamic team of experts nurtures a portfolio of ventures, properties, real assets and securities. Occident’s venture capital investment decisions are driven by a strong orientation towards the future and by the fascination for founders who can take a good idea and build it into a great enterprise. As a partner for start-ups and founders, Occident offers strong financial backing, a long-term outlook and wide-ranging areas of expertise. More at

About Hemex AG

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 at