Six Scandinavian start-ups selected for European Catapult start-up competition semifinals

The six best Scandinavian biotech, medtech and digital health start-ups have been selected by EIT Health Scandinavia for the EIT Health European Health Catapult semifinals (more information here). They will now compete with 36 other start-ups from other European regions for a place at the finals at the EIT Health Summit in Paris in December. The range of selected start-ups feature an impressive range of innovative solutions, for challenges ranging from cancer and chronic diseases to medical imaging and precision diagnosis.

The European Health Catapult, which has been called one of the top competitions for biotech start-ups in Europe, is designed to identify and accelerate promising European start-ups in the categories of biotech, medtech and digital health. The competition has three different tracks focused on different health applications: biotech, medtech and digital health. After the round of regional selections in the EIT Health Co-Location Centres, 14 European startups are selected in each category to participate in the semifinals. Besides the financial prizes, the three winners in each category also get access to the EIT Health Accelerator and access to services for clinical validation, mentoring and market preparation.

The winners of last year’s competition were Sunbioscience, developing more accurate disease models; Enmodes, with a portable lung support device; and Fibricheck, which has created a prescription app to detect irregular heart rhythms.

The applicants selected by EIT Health Scandinavia were evaluated by high-level experts representing different Scandinavian regions. The applications were first evaluated remotely, and the highest ranked applications were chosen to further compete in a pitch competition, that took place in Stockholm earlier during the summer.

The selected start-ups will receive intensive coaching on their value proposition and investor pitch, and then pitch competitively during the following semi-final events:

  • Biotech: Delft, Netherlands, 24-26 September 2019
  • Medtech: San Sebastian, Spain, 30 September-2 October 2019
  • Digital Health: London, UK, 8-10 October 2019

A jury will judge their presentations, their market readiness and the anticipated impact of their healthcare innovations, and half of them will be chosen to carry on in the competition. The 21 finalists will compete in the European Health Catapult Final in Paris, during the 2-3 December 2019 EIT Health Summit. The finalists will pitch their innovations to compete for recognition, the attention of investors and prizes worth a total of €210 000.

EIT Health Scandinavia wish the best of luck to all six nominated companies in the semifinals!

The selected Scandinavian companies are:

Biotech category

  • CARTANA, Stockholm, Sweden: ”We are a Swedish biotechnology company that equips researchers with innovative spatial sequencing technology, so they can decipher both functions and diseases of the brain – and investigate tumours and other organs to much greater depth than previously possible. CARTANA’s Neuro Kit uses In Situ Sequencing (ISS) technology to provide brain mapping. ISS is an unprecedented technique of analysing tissue samples, generating 100 times more data than other commercial techniques. The solution is transversal to neuroscience, oncology and immunology, and promotes advancements on cellular and molecular biology, disease diagnostics and treatment development.”
  • Emplicure, Uppsala, Sweden: ”Our vision is to make pain treatment safer by improving the way opioids are administered. While patients with severe chronic pain can benefit from continuous long-term opioid administration, there is a high risk of abuse, misuse and diversion associated with these products. Relying on experience and competence within materials and pharmaceutical sciences, Emplicure has created products, based on ceramic patented technologies, that make it possible to achieve abuse-deterrent properties for pain relief drugs.”

Medtech category

  • IPDx, Estonia: ”We have developed a proprietary biomarker discovery platform, called Mimotope Variation Analysis (MVA), that identifies antibody signatures for a variety of diseases, through a combination of phage display screening, next-generation sequencing and big data analytics. IPDx applies MVA to develop diagnostics, and collaborates with industry partners interested in biomarker discovery, vaccine development, and multiplex diagnostic panel development. The first test of the platform is a breast cancer treatment test to identify those patients with the highest risk of cancer reoccurring after the initial treatment. This allows physicians to treat these patients aggressively with chemotherapy, while also identifying the 30% who undergo unnecessary chemotherapy.”
  • Innovosens, Malmö, Sweden: ”We are developing a wearable sensor called SMASH (Sweat Metabolite Analysis for Sports and Health). SMASH is the first truly non-invasive, multiparametric wearable sensor for continuous monitoring of glucose and lactate levels. It allows diabetics and athletes to measure their glucose, lactate, ketone and cortisol levels continuously and in real-time, through data wirelessly transmitted from the device to a mobile app.”

Digital health category

  • Triumf Health, Estonia and Finland: ”We create a healthier future for ill children through a personalised and fun game that helps them relieve stress and understand their illness. Findings from the company’s multi-site clinical study among paediatric cancer patients showed that the Triumf game is effective as a digital intervention that can improve mental well-being and health-related quality of life. Children playing the game need to save the Triumfland city from the Disease Monster. The game delivers research-based content to educate, monitor and support patients in a personalised manner. Different versions are geared toward children with cancer, diabetes, asthma and/or obesity.”
  • Alex Health, Stockholm, Sweden: ”We take a new approach to breaking bad habits, thereby helping people to take back control of their bodies. Alex combines Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) with artificial intelligence to provide a personalised service based on individual environmental and emotional triggers. Research has shown that quitting smoking with CBT is 10 times more effective than trying to quit alone. With software that uses an evidence-based approach, paired with data-driven, step-by-step supports, Alex provides a one-of-a-kind plan for long-term smokers, first time quitters, and those who have tried it all.”

Read more about the European Health Catapult, that has been called one of the top European start-up competitions in Europe: 

Read more about the selected startups: