2nd November 2020
Ten new healthcare start-ups from Central, Eastern and Southern Europe were recognised and awarded with an additional €10 000 prize within the EIT Health Headstart programme – InnoStars edition. Winning teams from Italy, Portugal, Hungary, Romania and Poland share the podium. A software that can help analyse clinical data of COVID-positive patients, a wearable cough-monitoring device or a solution that helps in early-diagnosis of ovarian cancer got additional financial support to market’s fast-track.
This year EIT Health decided to support 89 new healthcare innovations across Europe as a result of the EIT Health accelerator programme – Headstart. 15 teams came from regions which are classified as moderate and modest innovators, mostly in the Central, Eastern and Southern Europe (according to the European Innovation Scoreboard). The 15 semi-finalists received €40 000 to further develop their innovations. In addition, ten of these best teams got extra €10 000 for shortening time-to-market of their revolutionary healthcare products and services.
Italians again with the golden laurels
The Headstart Grand Final was held virtually on 29 October during Bio-Europe. There are five winning teams from Italy, two from Portugal, and one from Hungary, Romania and Poland.
Allelica S.r.l uses genomic software to identify people who will develop the highest severity of COVID-19 clinical manifestation, while IMMAGINA BioTechnology S.r.l produces research tools to support researchers and diagnostic companies working on breast and prostate cancer. Kyme NanoImaging srl improves Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) with injectable medical products that combine biomaterials with clinically used contrast agents. Produced with a patented nanotechnology platform, these products increase contrast capability to make greater anatomical details visible. SYNDIAG S.R.L. empowers medical doctors to perform early diagnosis of ovarian cancer during ultrasound medical imaging with AI-based software, and Mysurable LTD produces mioTest®, the first comprehensive, portable and automated system to evaluate muscular performance in order to diagnose sarcopenia, a syndrome characterised by the loss of muscle mass.
The Portuguese winning teams are Bac3Gel, a team that develops a model of human mucus to transform microbiology and the way bacteria-modulating drugs are discovered and C-mo Medical Solutions that answers an unmet clinical need with a wearable cough-monitoring device that provides a comprehensive assessment of a patient’s distinctive cough patterns. It aims to facilitate and expedite the diagnosis of the cough’s underlying disease, allowing the prescription of customised and accurate therapies and treatments.
Sineko Global Kft. from Hungary is also amongst the winners. The start-up’s solution helps radiologists with the GRAID software, an AI-supported structured reporting system for cross-border teleradiology. The solution allows for fast, easy sharing of radiology results and thereby aims to decrease reporting time and improve diagnostic quality. Lorton Investments Sp. z o.o., a winning start-up from Poland produces SenceBand, a wearable for electrocardiography (ECG) sensor using one wrist only. It is compliant to the International Standards of Measurement, Physiological Interpretation, and Clinical Use to constantly track the state of the autonomic nervous system.
“This year we got three times more applications from those European countries which are considered as moderate or modest innovators. In many cases the level of maturity and technological readiness of those teams was world-class. All 15 companies are on the best way to succeed and help medical doctors in better diagnostic and treatment of European patients, and the top ten just received an extra support to fasten their market entry” – says Inês Matias, Business Creation Manager at EIT Health InnoStars.
Headstart is only one of many EIT Health Accelerator programmes which yearly support over 400 start-ups in Europe. More and more teams come from regions in Central, Eastern and Southern Europe.
“It shows that there is still untapped potential in Portugal, Poland, Hungary or Italy. We are discovering talents, equipping them with business skills, validating their solution and increasing the possibility of attracting further investment” – adds Inês Matias.