Start-ups Meet Pharma: take up the challenge


Do you want to break into the pharmaceutical industry? If your solution tackles one of the challenges posed by our pharmaceutical partners, Start-ups Meet Pharma will give you the opportunity to collaborate directly with internal decision-makers and open the path for partnership exploration.

The challenge-based acceleration programme enables pharmaceutical companies to identify growth opportunities by joining forces with promising healthcare start-ups. Together, you will aim to generate real business results that improve people’s health and quality of life.

Applications for this programme are now closed

What you get

2022 Pharma Challenges

This year’s healthcare challenges are presented by Takeda, Boehringer Ingelheim RCV, Sintetica and Novartis. Stay tuned for additional challenges coming soon. Will you take up one of the challenges below?

Digital solutions improving referral and diagnostic pathway for rare diseases


People living with rare diseases are often faced with challenges to obtain correct diagnosis, and hence treatment.

Takeda calls for digital health solutions that could improve or optimise the care and referral pathway for people with rare diseases giving them access to relevant laboratory testing to enable diagnosis and treatment decision. There is a particular interest for solutions that could be applied to improve testing for Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP), an ultra-rare, life-threatening blood disorder.

Early diagnosis and identification of risk for disease progression in Chronic Kidney patients

Boehringer Ingelheim RCV

The global prevalence of Chronic Kidney disease (CKD) is around 9% and is often underrecognised by patients and clinicians. Diagnosis, staging and appropriate referral of CKD patients by primary care physicians are important elements in reducing the burden of the disease.

Boehringer Ingelheim RCV is looking for a digital diagnostic support tool that aids the diagnosis of new CKD patients; flags the unrecognised CKD patients – especially those with high risk for progression; and could be integrated with the daily workflow of general practitioners.

Innovative solutions for pain management


Sintetica is looking for disruptive and innovative solutions in pain management, related to chronic pain but also to pain treatment in general, that could improve patients’ lives.

These solutions could include but are not limited to: new types of pharmacological treatment, novel drug delivery routes, medical devices, digital approaches.There is a particular interest in the field of neuromodulation which is an expanding area of pain medicine that incorporates an array of non-invasive, minimally invasive, and surgical electrical therapies, as well as solutions that are based on a multidisciplinary approach, solutions that aim at an individualised treatment and solutions that could offer a multidimensional diagnosis.

Care coordination between primary care and specialty care for Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease patients with elevated LDL-c levels


Novartis is looking for a proven solution or platform that can support an integrated care pathway to optimise the quality of life, reduce the disease’s burden and minimise avoidable healthcare resources utilisation for patients with Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease and elevated LDL-c levels.

The solutions or platforms can go from screening and diagnosis, patient identification, automate referral, treatment activation and follow-up. Digital health interventions that have an impact in behaviour change and/or psychosocial aid optimising patient’s quality outcome are also welcome to apply to the challenge.

Programme modules

Module 1 - Meet & Learn

1 of 4

2-13 May 2022, Online
Up to fifteen workshops by top-notch speakers on different tools and methods to successfully build your company

Module 2 - Meet & Pitch

2 of 4

7-17 June 2022, Online
Up to five-hour of workshops by pharma partners on how to collaborate with big players in the market and 1-on-1 pitch sessions

Module 3 - Meet & Visit

3 of 4

4-8 July 2022, Online, Pharma Company's Premises
Up to two-hour visit to the premises of the pharma partners and meeting internal decision-makers to discuss collaboration opportunities

Module 4 - Meet & Win

4 of 4

September 2022, Location TBD
Fifteen minutes pitch in front of external pharma company representatives and for some extra visibility.

Who should apply

To qualify, your company must:

  • Be an established legal entity and based in any Horizon Europe country
  • Have a validated proof of concept, market validation and prototype that addresses one of the challenges released by the pharmaceutical companies listed above.
  • Be available throughout the whole duration of the programme: May-September 2022

Want to find out more?

Ready to apply?

Start-up Meets Pharma is currently closed, please take a look to our other programmes to find out the best fit for your start-up.