19th March 2020
The two founders of iLoF – a start-up receiving as much as €2 million in EIT Health Wild Card support to develop a solution using artificial intelligence (AI) and photonics to screen for Alzheimer’s disease – were named in the prestigious Forbes 30 Under 30 Europe List this month.
Dr. Joana Paiva and Luis Valente were among 30 young “entrepreneurs, disruptors and rising stars” selected in the Science & Healthcare category of the Forbes list. The Forbes 30 Under 30 Europe list has been recognising promising young talents for the past five years through a process involving thousands of nominations and screening by a panel of judges.
As Forbes notes: “Paiva and Valente are cofounders of iLoF, a start-up that uses AI and photonics to build a cloud-based library of diseases biomarkers, initially focusing on Alzheimer’s disease. This data will hopefully reduce the cost and time of drug discovery and speed up clinical trials. So far they have raised over $2.4 million from investors.”
Addressing challenges in Alzheimer’s clinical trials
iLoF’s innovation is intended to address one of the challenges faced by clinical trials for Alzheimer’s treatments: screening patients in the trials to determine their level of Alzheimer’s is invasive and painful. About 90% of initially enrolled patients are said to leave trials due to inconvenient screening, involving a PET scan and lumbar puncture.
Using its non-invasive, portable and inexpensive test, iLoF seeks to transform the patients experience and make clinical trials convenient and patient-centric. iLoF says it hopes to save 40% of the total costs and 70% of the time spent on screening and stratifying Alzheimer’s patients for clinical trials, thereby becoming an enabler in finding treatments for the disease.
EIT Health Wild Card support
Named in November as one of two EIT Health Wild Card 2019 winners, iLoF went through a year of training and competition with other start-ups to earn up to €2 million in EIT Health support over two years. Under the Wild Card programme, they will also receive access to EIT Health’s business mentors, as well as other academic and commercial support from the network, to develop and commercialise their solution. Through the Wild Card Programme EIT Health creates new business ventures from teams and individuals with big ideas – people who are not afraid to defy convention, take a risk and with our help, create products and services that will change people’s lives.
Find out more about the Wild Card Programmr here.