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EIT Health InnoStars Accelerator program - €120,000 support for innovative healthcare start-ups and SMEs

EIT Health InnoStars Accelerator

The Hungarian final of EIT Health InnoStars Accelerator programs took place on 1 July in Budapest. EIT Health – supported by the European Committee – is one of the biggest healthcare initiatives worldwide. Among the members we can find Europe’s top healthcare and pharma companies, life science universities and research institutions. Utilizing its network, excellence and knowledge EIT Health aims to foster innovation and bring new innovative products and services on the European and world markets.

In order to achieve these goals EIT Health announced competitions for start-ups and ventures in major European countries. In Hungary – part of the “EIT Health InnoStars” network containing ESIF eligible member states of EU – two programs were available for applicants. InnoStars Awards is a competition which supports early stage health industry ventures to get their business concepts off the ground and into the domestic and international market, while InnoStars GoEurope supports SMEs who intend to bring their existing products or services to the European markets. After the submission, applications were pre-filtered and shortlisted by a team of external experts. Finalists were invited to a two-days pitch training session (27-28th June) where healthcare and innovation experts supported them to further develop their business concept presentation. The Jury – consisted of key players of healthcare industry, venture capital, innovation management and consultancy – awarded 5-5 high quality projects in each category.

Two top ranked applications in each category received a grant to cover the costs of project development (10,000  each in InnoStars Awards, 50,000  each in InnoStars GoEurope). EIT Health offers a wide range of education and business creation programs provided by its members such as top ranked European universities. EIT Health will support awarded applicants to take part in these programs, moreover they will have the chance to introduce themselves to the members of the network to find cooperating partners for further development and growth.

The following project were awarded by the Jury in the InnoStars Awards category:

Pretargeted Medicine (10,000  prize) – The genetically engineered T (CART) cells are one of the most promising therapies for late stage cancer patients worldwide. The proposed innovative antibody-based pre-targeting technology achieves the same result without genetic engineering, thus this therapy has the potential to easily overcome regulatory barriers. To prove the feasibility of this innovative approach a proof-of-concept animal model experiment will be carried out in the near future.

Prelife (10,000  prize) – The project aims to improve the efficiency of the in vitro fertilization protocols by innovative molecular biology methods. Prelife team have identified a set of biomarkers (and relevant measurement methods as well) that can be used by the clinician to personalize the embryo implantation protocol. The product, which is expected to double the chance of a successful implantation, is in the clinical validation phase.

Notch – Measuring and analysing movements is critical for evaluation of various medical conditions that affect motor functions. Notch introduces simple and intuitive, yet powerful motion capture platform for doing physical examination related to range of motion and movement analysis. Due to its non-optical technology there is no need for a studio or cameras. Notch facilitates motion capture in real-life cases regardless of the venue of the activity. Patients wear a couple of sensors while a mobile app visualizes the accurate 3D model of the motion of their limbs to enable further analysis.

HunHemp – Cannabidiol (CBD) has a wide scope of medical application. It can help fight cancer cells and suppress cell growth of cancer cells. HunHemp is about developing and delivering the highest quality, highest volume CBD-based products – made from organically grown hemp – for both a growing wholesale and consumer market. Thanks to a new, innovative extraction process, HunHemp achieved a significant reduction in the production costs.

InSimu – Doctors are in a complex decision making situation when it comes to diagnosing patients. InSimu is the application that gives medical students and doctors the opportunity to practice clinical diagnostic work in the safety of virtual reality on simulated patients with the full scale of diagnostic methods. Mimicking all possible aspects of real-life diagnostics (time and costs), InSimu will change the way of learning in a “medutainment” approach. InSimu project qualified for the final of Microsoft Imagine Cup 2016 in Seattle, USA.

Winners of InnoStars GoEurope 2016 competition:

BioPREDx (50,000  prize) – This project is the first to develop a biomarker-based diagnostic test for rheumatoid arthritis and leukaemia patients. SOLVO MDQ Kit™ is a flow cytometry test optimized for routine clinical use. The test has a prognostic and predictive value in the targeted diseases providing personalized patient information. The project is in the second clinical utility trial phase.

FRISBEE (50,000 prize) – The project “Fast and Efficient Market Reach via Intensive Business Development” – implemented by Biosystems International Kft. (BSI) – deploys a unique and protected biochip technology for the early diagnosis of cancer and chronic diseases. BSI licenses its new diagnostics to partners present on the global market and provides R&D services for pharma partners.

LODOCO – The project is based on the recognition that a breakthrough in treating acute lymphoid leukemia can be achieved not only by new drugs but also by reassessment of the drugs in hand applying them as combination therapies. The project developed a low-dose protocol consisting of registered drugs and therapies that can exploit the autoimmune power of T cells. This combination therapy achieved a 68% response rate in 30 last stage cancer patients with 11 types of cancer.

Hand-In-Scan – The Hungarian start-up develops, validates and commercializes a novel hand hygiene control system for the direct and objective evaluation of hand washing. The scanner has the unique capability to provide measurable and real- time feedback on the efficacy of hand hygiene. Employing ultraviolet light and digital imaging, the system highlights unclean areas after regular hand washing. The device was tested by 17,000 healthcare workers worldwide. Reference devices are operating in several countries but Hand-In-Scan team intends to enter further markets.

iSort – While the imaging examinations follow standards set by international radiology societies, the interpretation of the captured unbiased information often results in free-text medical reports. In the iSORT system clinical findings are reported in a formalized way. Thanks to its logical structure iSort drives clinicians through the whole process of reporting and ensures that it contains all critical information. In parallel with this quality control iSort builds up an extensive database that could be further used for research purposes. iSORT integrates with existing medical infrastructure, thus there is no need to change existing devices and programs. iSort is currently used in hospitals in Hungary, the UK and the Netherlands. The aim of the team is to include new modalities into the system be.

Above listed projects were evaluated and selected by a body of high-ranked representatives with a variety of fields of expertise.

All awarded projects will be followed and supported in the future to turn their innovations into successful products or services on domestic, European and worldwide markets.

Based on the success of this year’s event, this initiative will be followed by further competitions in 2017.

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