What would a large event like BIO-Europe be without startups? They’re not only the life and soul of any evening networking reception, but also an essential and indispensable part of the life sciences community.
Johnson & Johnson Innovation, together with EBD Group, has picked up on that thought and presented the Startup Slam at BIO-Europe. This year’s conference saw the Startup Slam presented for the 4th time, after it was first launched in 2016 at BIO-Europe in Stockholm.
The organizers’ goal is to enable young companies to pitch their idea to a large audience comprised of experts from the life sciences industry, potential partners and investors. Any young startup that is working on patient solutions in therapeutics, diagnostics and platform technologies, can pitch their company to the attending biotech, medtech and pharma representatives and expert judges panel.
Held in Berlin, this year’s BIO-Europe counted more than 4,000 attendees and over 2000 companies from 61 countries. A perfectly mixed audience for the 8 competing startups, therefore. A crowded room waited in anticipation for the start of the event.
Novadiscovery was the first company to be pitched in front of the five expert judges. In 3 short minutes, the company was introduced as a specialist in in silico clinical trials. By modeling and simulating trials, the team at Novadiscovery is hoping to lower the risk of R&D processes for new therapies.
Next up was Amylon Therapeutics presented by its founder and CEO Thomas de Vlaam, and – spoiler alert – the winner of the Startup Slam 2017! It was the potential of the company’s innovative idea to translate into healthcare solutions for patients that persuaded the judges.
Amylon Therapeutics works with central nervous system disorders by using an ultra-genetics approach, which may have a larger application worldwide for more common indications.
Biotx.ai GmbH, on the other hand, focuses on artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and data science. The company’s algorithms have been created to select the correct participants for trials and the right drug targets for certain diseases.
The presentation of Biotx.ai GmbH was followed by PharmaBiome’s pitch. With a focus on the human gut microbiome, PharmaBiome has developed a proprietary technology platform for the isolation, characterization and large-scale cultivation of important gut bacteria for the manufacturing of function-based microbiome therapies.
Even a short break after the first four pitches, did not deter the highly interested audience. The room in which the Startup Slam was being held, was as crowded as ever when Lumobiotics GmbH took to the stage.
Focusing on the development of therapies against solid tumors, Lumobiotics has created a precise on-target photoswitch. A synthetic peptide drug, in other words, that can attach specifically to tumor cells and be activated through red light. This leads to the necrosis of the cancer cells.
Yet another focus area was tuberculosis, or TB. MT-Medicals LLC is a startup that creates anti-TB therapies, addressing the lack of novel therapeutics in light of the co-evolution and consequent immunity of TB-causing bacteria.
ProteoFormiX has made it its goal to develop “The Human Peptide Atlas” – a collection of thousands of tissues representing disease that could be helpful for researchers and clinicians for the early detection of Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s disease. The company’s platform can discover disease-relevant biomarkers from medically and clinically derived human gene products.
The last company to pitch its ideas was Exogenus Therapeutics, which focuses on the treatment of skin lesions, including wounds, infections and inflammatory diseases of the skin. Their platform uses exosomes, which are extracted from cells taken from umbilical cord blood. Exosomes are little bubbles that can carry certain therapeutic agents. They also walked away as winners of the best pitch.
Choosing the winner from this array of interesting and pioneering companies was certainly not an easy task for the judges. With its win, Amylon Therapeutics received a free pass to BIO-Europe Spring® 2018 from EBD Group, as well as the opportunity to enter into a free year-long arrangement with Johnson & Johnson Innovation, JLINX.
Watch the full Startup Slam of BIO-Europe 2017 here! See for yourself how pitching your company to an expert audience can boost its reputation and pave the way for future collaborations and partnerships!