27th August 2019
EIT Health InnoStars dominates in Start-ups Meet Pharma 2019
Two Portuguese teams won the first edition of EIT Health competition for start-ups in the field of innovative pharma.
BestHealth4U and InSignals Neurotech beat out one hundred other European companies and they have already begun working on the development of their products with potential investors and EIT Health Partners.
Two teams from InnoStars regions secured first and second places during the EIT Health Start-ups Meet Pharma DEMO Day Programme in Heidelberg, Germany. BestHealth4U and InSignals Neurotech beat out one hundred other European companies, taking home recognition and commitments from big pharmaceutical players so they can develop their revolutionary concepts. Start-ups Meet Pharma was the first edition of an EIT Health programme for European start-ups, who addressed challenges prepared by leading global pharmaceutical companies Amgen, Bayer, Ferrer, Johnson & Johnson and UCB Biosciences. From around a hundred applicants the best fourteen of these start-ups were then set the task of tackling sets of challenges ranging from telemedicine, biomarker measurement tools and diagnostic solutions. As well as working with pharmaceutical players, the selected start-ups joined four training modules on business modelling, marketing, sales strategy, financial planning and forecasting, plus presenting and pitching skills.
The quality of the presentations proved to be of an equally high standard, so the jury decided to award three start-ups:
- First place: Portuguese-based BestHealth4U, for their revolutionary new technology Bio4Skin, a biomedical adhesive;
- Second place: Portuguese-based InSignals Neurotech, for developing medical devices to support an objective evaluation of motor symptoms of neurological diseases, such as Parkinson’s Disease;
- Third place: Nova – a German start-up, with a WhatsApp-like chatbot that has been developed to empower families and individuals suffering from atopic dermatitis.
The winners have already begun working on the development of their products with potential investors and EIT Health Partners. “We are now engaged in discussions with UCB and one of their partners”- comments Silvina Samy, Chief Security Officer at BestHealth4U. “The discussions and the training ware of a very high quality. It was very valuable for us. We learned and improved a lot and definitely changed our perspective about our own business and the strategy we want to follow.”
“Beyond the pill” challenges from the top pharmaceutical players
This novel programme was based on five challenges that were defined according to a “beyond-the-pill” strategy which can deliver real value. BestHealth4U answered the challenge prepared by UCB, Immunology Patient Value Units and Translational Medicine Departments: The measurement of skin health in the assessment of treatment efficacy and ability to predict flare ups for conditions such as atopic dermatitis and chronic spontaneous urticaria currently relies on direct clinical observation which can be subject to variability and subjectivity. Their solution – Bio2Skin – is an adhesion material that does not damage the skin, resulting in the reduction of potential hospitalization and wound care healing costs, thus eliminating the current problems issued from the continuous use of adhesives. The second Portuguese team, a spin-off from the University of Porto – one of the EIT Health Hubs (in the EIT Regional Innovation Scheme) – prepared an answer to the challenge defined by Ferrer: Parkinson’s Disease – How to improve the management of “wearing-off” motor episodes (dyskinesias, dystonias); including freezing episodes. InSignals Neurotech proposed the world’s first objective and real-time rigidity evaluation device for Parkinson’s Disease patients.
Thanks to Start-ups Meet Pharma, all participating teams received mentoring support and professional training, with the result that the winners can now work with top pharmaceutical companies on developing their business solutions. EIT Health has already started working on the second edition of the programme – Start-ups Meet Pharma 2020. More information will be available soon.
We are now engaged in discussions with UCB and one of their partners. The discussions and the training ware of a very high quality. It was very valuable for us. We learned and improved a lot and definitely changed our perspective about our own business and the strategy we want to follow.
Silvina Samy, Chief Security Officer at BestHealth4U
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