The winners were chosen in the three categories of Biotech, Medtech and Digital Health
The winners of the European Health Catapult Business Plan Competition – in the three categories of Biotech, Medtech and Digital Health – were chosen by a professional jury following pitches by nine finalists at the EIT Health Summit, in Łódź (Poland), on 4 December 2018. Participants at the Summit were allowed to vote for the fourth winner, who was granted the audience prize. The contest has become a regular highlight of the EIT Health Summit, a key annual gathering of EIT Health. The top three winners in each category received cash awards and, more importantly, the kind of recognition from the EIT Health community that can lead to further support and investment.
The European Health Catapult Business Plan Competition identifies and accelerates promising European start-ups. The 2018 competition began early this year, when a host of applicants were screened by EIT Health regional representations – the CLCs and InnoStars – and accepted into regional competitions. Following coaching, 42 regional winners went to the semifinals competitions: the Biotech contest in Leuven, Netherlands; Medtech in Grenoble, France; and Digital Health in Erlangen, Germany. They were judged based on the market readiness and anticipated impact of their healthcare innovations, and the most promising 22 start-ups were invited to compete in the finals during the 4-5 December 2018 EIT Health Summit.
This year, for the first time, the start-ups judged to be the best from EIT Health Accelerator’s Bootcamps – of which six were held in 2018 – also pitched for cash prizes and recognition at the EIT Health Summit.
Winners and runners-up, and what they do
- European Health Catapult Biotech category
1. SyNoesis Therapeutics Ltd. (EIT Health Innostars): A start-up biotech with the vision to cure Parkinson's disease (PD) and other major brain diseases has patented a new therapeutic treatment for treating PD.
2. LIfT BioSciences Ltd. (EIT Health UK-Ireland): Start-up with a vision to develop the world’s first cell bank of "cancer killing neutrophils" for all solid tumours has already shown 40-80% solid tumour necrosis in an FDA approved small study.
3. Gedea Biotech AB (EIT Health Scandinavia): Develops a safe and antibiotic-free treatment of vaginal infections, affecting most women.
- European Health Catapult Digital Health category:
1. Sleepiz (EIT Health Germany): Using wireless signals, their device measures vital signs without touching the patient – enabling non-contact home diagnosis of sleep apnea.
2. NeuroPsyAI (EIT Health Innostars): Uses artificial intelligence for earlier identification of signs of neurodegenerative illnesses, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, in conventional brain scans.
3. FeetMe (EIT Health France): A connected insole and an associated mobile software that collects and analyses gait spatio-temporal parameters and variability. The innovation is designed to improve mobility outcomes and home rehabilitation through smart active wearable technology.
- European Health Catapult Medtech category:
1. Aenitis Technologies (EIT Health France): Patented medical devices for continuous, contactless and pressurless sorting of cells in suspensions, to address the challenges of cell therapy units and blood banks in cell sorting, cell washing and on cell isolation for blood, tissues and stem cells processing.
2. VitaDX International (EIT Health France): Innovative medical device for early bladder cancer diagnosis combines fluorescence imaging and image processing using machine learning algorithms to detect cancerous cells in a urine sample.
3. HydrUStent, LDA (EIT Health Innostars): A biodegradable, anti-bacterial and tailor-made stent, with underlying technology protected by a patent, reduces the risk of bacterial infection and the need for surgical procedures, cutting treatment cost by 60%.
- Audience winner:
Gedea Biotech AB (EIT Health Scandinavia): Develops a safe and antibiotic-free treatment of vaginal infections, affecting most women.
- Bootcamp contest winners:
1. Opsyon generates new and effective immuno-oncology therapeutics with reduced systemic toxicities by combining the specificity of antibodies with the effectiveness of immune checkpoint inhibition.
2. Smart Medical Optics combines optical knowledge and smart algorithms to improve the quality of malaria diagnostics in developing countries.
3. WayToB provides a solution to help people with intellectual disabilities travel independently, using an app that takes instructions from carers, and keeps them in constant contact with carers.