26th May 2022
This year’s EIT Health Catapult competition has crowned Cambridge-based start-up SolasCure as champions in the biotech category. Catapult is a pitching competition run by EIT Health that exposes European start-ups to world-class experts and investors. EIT Health is Europe’s largest health innovation network, and the competition was held during its flagship event, the EIT Health Summit in Stockholm, Sweden this week. London-based Brightlobe also competed, placing second in the Digital Health category.
Now, in its seventh year, the Catapult competition has already supported 231 start-ups with over 400 actively involved investors and 2500 healthcare professionals committed to the programme’s success. Catapult is part of the vast portfolio of programmes EIT Health runs to raise a new generation of companies into a position where they can deliver solutions that can improve the lives of patients and citizens in Europe.
The competition brings new levels of exposure and opportunity for contenders, with two winners from the 2020 competition recently celebrating major acquisitions. In 2021, runner-up in the biotech category, PhagoMed, was acquired by BioNTech and the third-place finalist in digital health, Patchai, was acquired by US-based Alira Health.
Representing the best in European healthcare innovation across biotech, medtech and digital health, nine finalists competed on stage in front of an audience of experts and investors, in hopes of securing funding from EIT Health.
In the biotech pool, English start-up SolasCure’s innovative solution to treating chronic wounds caught the judges’ attention, earning it the coveted first place title. Chief of Staff, Celia Harrison, explained how the company’s hydrogel, “Aurase”, promises to revolutionise wound care by harnessing the advantages of maggot therapy, without the disadvantages.
The winner of the MedTech category was Leuko, a Spanish start-up that is developing the world’s first device that can monitor white blood cells daily from home. In digital health, German start-up Ebenbuild took home the trophy for its AI software that generates patient lung data to tailor therapy for acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Brightlobe came second in this category.
Ireland’s Luminate Medical was chosen as the winner of the ‘Alex Casta Audience Award’, an audience-selected accolade. Using a portable technology called “Lily”, the Irish med-tech start-up looks to prevent chemotherapy-induced hair loss. As part of the award, Luminate Medical will have its logo displayed on the Nasdaq Tower in New York’s Times Square. The start-up also came second in Catapult’s MedTech category.
Kurt Höller, Director of Business Creation, EIT Health, commented: “This year’s Catapult competition celebrated the incredible innovations of some of Europe’s most cutting-edge start-ups and we are extremely proud to recognise a cohort of nine distinguished finalists. Their impressive pitches showed robust business concepts, creativity, and tenacity which gives us hope that the future of healthcare innovation in Europe is indeed bright.”
The EIT Health Summit, where the Catapult finalists competed, took place at the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, on May 24th and 25th. The event brought together world-class experts who delivered a rich and diverse programme of talks, creating a vision designed to drive the future sustainability and resilience of healthcare services.
Learn more about the EIT Health Catapult competition, and apply for 2023.
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