07 Dec 2020   |   Network Updates   |   Update from EIT Health
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EIT Health Catapult start-up competition names 21 winners in biotech, medtech and digital health

  • Finals of EIT Health Catapult saw 21 European start-ups compete across biotech, medtech and digital health
  • Programme, which awards start-ups essential support and funding, is now in its fifth year
  • Previous winners include Sparing Vision, who recently raised 44.5 million euros in investment to further its gene therapy for chronic ocular diseases

EIT Health (which is part of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology) has announced nine winning start-ups of its Catapult competition, awarding a combined total of more than one million euros in funding and continued support as they develop their products and services.

In the digital health category ‘Methinks AI’ took first place for its solution of using imaging technology to reduce time to treatment in stroke patients where every second counts. ‘Popit’ took second place for its sensor technology to improve patients’ adherence to medicines, and ‘PatchAI’ was awarded third place for its digital solution to improve compliance in clinical trials.

Methinks AI
Methinks AI at the EIT Health Catapult competition. Photo: EIT Health.

In the medtech category ‘New Born Solutions’ was awarded first place for its solution to improve the detection of infectious diseases such as meningitis in new-borns. ‘STIL’ came in second place for its solution to reduce tremor in patients such as those with Parkinson’s disease, and Gradient was awarded third place for its minimally invasive product to treat pulmonary hypertension.

In the biotech category ‘UVera’ was awarded first place (as well as the Alex Casta Audience Award, which is voted on live by the EIT Health Catapult audience during the EIT Health Summit) for its solution to provide natural, safe, potent, stable and eco-friendly UV protection. In second place was ‘PhagoMed’ whose solution uses a synthetic biology platform to precisely target any bacterial pathogen, and in third place was ‘Gelmetix’ who is developing bio-inductive gels that modify cell behaviour to treat patients suffering from chronic lower back pain and osteoarthritis.

Currently in its fifth year, Catapult is just one of 23 accelerator initiatives run by EIT Health in 2020 to raise a new generation of companies into a position where they are able to deliver solutions that can improve the lives of patients and citizens in Europe. EIT Health Catapult boosts the development of European start-ups in healthcare by exposing them to leading experts and international investors. Prizes of €40,000 (for first place), €20,000 (for second place) and €10,000 (for third place) are awarded to three winners in each of the categories: biotech, medtech and digital, as well as €800,000 in in-kind support from sponsors including Nasdaq, Amazon Web Services, L3S Partnership, Virdis Group, Lallianse and McDermott Will & Emery. A three-stage process, taking place over a period of one year, EIT Health Catapult offers promising start-ups intensive training, expert-led business plan optimisation and pitch development.

Kurt Höller, Director of Business Creation, EIT Health comments; “We’re thrilled to end 2020 with some good news by announcing nine incredibly strong winners of our EIT Health Catapult programme. As healthcare systems in Europe remain fragmented, access to the vast EIT Health network will be of utmost value to our winners on their journey towards international growth.”

“Support is especially important during periods of uncertainty such as the current COVID-19 pandemic, as we rely on these innovative and agile small companies to provide smart solutions to growing healthcare issues. We look forward to welcoming our winners into the EIT Health family, and supporting them with accessing our network to grow their connections, develop their knowledge further and obtain resources that can help them on their way towards making their solutions a reality for patients and citizens across Europe.”

Previous winners of the EIT Health Catapult competition have gone on to achieve significant success, with EIT Health reporting in October 2020 that 2019 biotech winner Sparing Vision raised 44.5 million euros in investment to further its gene therapy for chronic ocular diseases. 

For more information about the EIT Health Catapult competition, and to apply for 2021 please visit eithealth.eu/catapult

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