VCoE and six start-ups nominated for Prix Galien

27th September 2023

The Venture Centre of Excellence (VCoE), a public-private co-investment programme run by EIT Health and the European Investment Fund (EIF), has been nominated for a 2023 Prix Galien Award, which honours excellence in scientific innovation. Six EIT Health-supported start-ups have also been shortlisted for a prize.

Each year the Galien Foundation acknowledges cutting edge scientific advances around the world. This year, our VCoE programme has been nominated in the ‘Incubators, Accelerators and Equity’ category. This category recognises the role played by institutions in guiding the next wave of innovators by offering mentoring skills and access to other resources and expertise, including accessing public and private investment.

VCoE fosters collaboration and co-investments between venture capitalists (VCs) and corporates to increase funding opportunities for highly innovative life science start-ups and small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Connected with 90+ prominent investors and industry stakeholders, leading corporations, and research institutions, VCoE also has an extensive network of member VC funds.

Furthermore, two out of the six EIT Health-supported start-ups that have been shortlisted for a Prix Galien award in the ‘Best Start-up’ category have received support through the VCoE programme. These are LinKinVax, a French biotechnology start-up that focuses on speeding up vaccine development, and Op2Lysis, a Franco-Belgian biotechnology company that researches and develops innovative medicines for cerebrovascular diseases.

Tomasz Kozlowski, Head of EU Mandates, EIF, said: “We’re delighted with the award nomination as it is a recognition of the way in which we drive healthcare innovation forwards with EIT Health. We have invested around €600 million since the initiative’s launch in December 2020 and are looking forward to scaling-up the VCoE partnership, channelling more funding and know-how to the next generation of pioneers in the European life-sciences sector.”

Issac Middelmann, Managing Director ad interim, EIT Health InvestHealth, also commented on the value VCoE brings: “As this nomination shows, we not only support and strengthen innovative start-ups to deliver innovation to market and patients, but we also design, build, and operate strategic pan-EU initiatives that deliver broad impact to the ecosystem more widely, including to investors and industrial leaders.”

Read on to find out more about the six EIT Health-supported start-ups who have been nominated in the ‘Best Start-up’ category, in recognition of the transformative potential of the healthcare innovations they are evolving, with our help. Learn more about these start-ups, the healthcare challenges their solutions seek to solve and the support they have received from us to accelerate their journey.

Meet our six shortlisted EIT Health-supported start-ups

Testament to the help EIT Health gives promising European healthcare start-ups to grow and compete on a global stage, six start-ups that we have supported have been shortlisted for this year’s Prix Galien.

Through attending our programmes these start-ups have accessed a wealth of resources and expertise, enabling them to overcome setbacks on the path to market entry. Meet our shortlisted six:


The global vaccines market is projected to grow to $125.49 billion by 2028.[1] VCoE-supported LinKinVax is a French biotechnology start-up with the ambition to disrupt vaccine development using a unique dendritic cell-targeting vaccine platform.

The discovery of dendritic cells’ role in adaptative immunity system led to a Nobel Prize in 2011.[2] Ten years of research later, three vaccines have entered clinical trial in 2022/2023.


VCoE-supported Op2Lysis is a Franco-Belgian biotechnology start-up that develops novel therapies to address unmet needs in cerebrovascular diseases such as hemorrhagic stroke.

The first product, O2L-001, has been tailored to lyse large and deep hematoma that are formed in the brain following spontaneous intracerebral hemorrhage. Products in their portfolio are based on their NANOp2Lysis® technology and innovative thrombolytic agent, OptPA.


French start-up, Gleamer, develops medical-grade AI for radiology. Having been supported by EIT Health on an accelerator programme in 2019, they went on to raise €27M in Series B this summer.

EIT Health’s diverse portfolio of programmes give start-ups the opportunity to learn new skills, connect with a vast network of experts, access finance, enter new markets, and more.


Swedish start-up, Acorai, is developing a medical device for non-invasive monitoring of intracardiac pressure. Their innovative solution, which was recently granted a Breakthrough Device Designation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), helps to reduce re-hospitalisations and lower mortality rates due to heart failure.

EIT Health is proud to have supported Acorai’s growth, having selected them for our Gold Track programme in 2021. Gold Track paired Acorai with top-flight life science advisors who helped the start-up hone their ideation, strategy, and operational execution to set them on a path to success.

Acorai has also been supported through our Swedish French Accelerator and, this year, has been selected as a one of thirty semifinalists on our Catapult programme. Each year, our Catapult competition showcases Europe’s most promising life science and healthtech start-ups to leading experts and investors.


Danish start-up, GLX ANALYTIX, based in Copenhagen, combine a new, proprietary class of biomarker with AI to bring personalised medicine to healthcare.

EIT Health has supported GLX ANALYTIX growth with a €35,000 grant through our mentoring and coaching network. We have also supported them to access crucial data through a programme called Digital Sandbox.

WhiteLab Genomics

WhiteLab Genomics is a French start-up which develops AI for genomic medicine. Their proprietary platform leverages graph knowledge technology and machine learning to help scientists discover and design new gene therapies.

First supported to grow through an EIT Health accelerator programme in 2019, WhiteLab Genomics went on to join the European Innovation Council (EIC) fast-track programme in 2022. This is part of a collaboration between EIT Health and EIC which enables high-potential start-ups to gain access to the EIC accelerator funding faster.

Learn about some of the EIT Health-supported start-ups who have gained EIC accelerator grants recently here.

Who will place first in October?

We are so proud to have six of our supported start-ups, alongside our VCoE programme, on this year’s Prix Galien shortlist. We wish all EIT Health nominees, as well as all the other promising programmes and start-ups on the shortlist, the best of luck at the final prize giving ceremony.

Winners will be announced during the Prix Galien USA Awards Ceremony at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City on 26 October. We can’t wait to discover who places first in each category.

Discover EIT Health’s diverse programme offering here.  

  1. Vaccines market size, share, growth: Global Industry Report (2022). Available at: (Accessed: 15 September 2023).

  2. Zitvogel, L., Merad, M. and Kroemer, G. (2012). The fabulous legacy of a Nobel Prize Laureate. OncoImmunology, 1(1), pp.3–8. doi:

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