StemSight, elected as the most innovative start-up

Among 35 applications received, 13 start-ups were selected to pitch during the Start-up Slams at BioFIT in different categories such as oncology, ophthalmology, cell therapy, infection, parasitic, inflammation, cardio-metabolic, gastrointestinal and tools (research, delivery, clinical development). StemSight, a Finnish start-up involved in Ophthalmology and Cell Therapy, represented by Laura Koivusalo, Founder and CEO, is the winner of this year’s edition of the Start-up Slams:

We are honoured to be considered as the most innovative start-up by the high-level jury of BioFIT, even though we are still in the very early stages. It is especially valuable to gain feedback on not just the pitching but also on the technology and business considerations of the project. This recognition from the BioFIT jury will hopefully also give an additionally boost to our fundraising.”

StemSight is developing new treatments for blindness by differentiating cell therapies from human pluripotent stem cells. StemSight is initially targeting a rare form of corneal blindness called limbal stem cell deficiency, a state where the cells responsible for the normal healing of the ocular surface are lost to injury or disease. StemSight’s approach aims to cure limbal stem cell deficiency permanently, by implanting allogeneic pluripotent stem cell-derived limbal stem cells to the corneal surface. StemSight is currently in the process of spinning out from Tampere University in Finland and raising their seed funding.

Antikor Biopharma Ltd., elected as the most promising technology

20 TTOs, universities, research institutes and companies applied to the BioFIT Collaborative and Licensing Opportunity Presentations to showcase their technology in front of potential partners in order to entail a collaborative project and / or a licensing deal. 8 of them have been selected to pitch during BioFIT in 3 different categories: infection/parasitic, oncology, tools/diagnostic. Antikor Biopharma Ltd., a British project involved in Oncology, represented by Dr. Mahendra Deonarain, Chief Executive and Science Officer, received the “Most Promising Technology” award:

This was our first attendance at BioFIT and were impressed by the organisation and breadth of attendees. We were pleased to have been selected to give a partnering presentation and even more honoured to be selected as a winner for the best technology pitch. The judges feedback was very detailed and knowledgeable and their understanding of our value proposition and choice for the award validates our approach. We are indeed grateful for this recognition. Our progress in a difficult 2020 has been due to the exceptional team at Antikor and we hope that 2021 will be our most successful year yet.”

Antikor, based in Stevenage, UK are innovators in ADCs (Antibody-Drug Conjugates). After many years of disappointment and failures, the ADC area has recently resurged, doubling the number of product approvals in the last 2 years. However, despite this renewed optimism, treating difficult solid tumours like gastric, pancreatic and lung remain a significant challenge which is where Antikor’s Fragment Drug Conjugate (FDC) technology fits. FDCs uses smaller antibody formats, optimised for superior tumour penetration, but systemically clear more rapidly providing reduced normal tissue exposure. Using carefully chosen, stable human frameworks, highly tolerable to bioconjugation, Antikor’s FDCs obtain higher payload loading ratios making them more potent. These features leads to benefits of improved efficacy and superior tolerability leading to a larger therapeutic window for treating solid tumours. Antikor has a strong platform for FDC discovery, an integrated R&D team to develop innovative products, backed by strong IP. Antikor’s two lead programmes are at the advanced pre-clinical stage: ANT-43 (breast and gastric cancer) is partnered with Hong Kong-listed Pharma company, Essex Biotechnology and our new flagship programme, ANT-45 is for gastric, lung and colon cancer. Antikor attended BioFIT 2020 to introduce its technology and products and to initiate partnership discussions for ANT-45.

PRONOZIA, elected as the most innovative animal health project

3 innovative animal health projects have been selected among companies that applied to the Animal Health Presentations and showcased their project in front of potential partners and investors. PRONOZIA, a French project involved in Animal Health, represented by Olivier Denis, President and Founder, is the winner of this year’s edition of the Animal Health Presentations:

We are very proud that “ZAG concept by PRONOZIA” wins the 2020 award of the “most innovative animal health project” presented by SIMV/BioFIT. Winning this award in a highly competition line-up, it is a great recognition of huge work accomplished and a great satisfaction for PRONOZIA team and partners. “ZAG concept” is a new generation decision support tool at the service of vet professionals, based on data science and data management. Thanks to SIMV and BioFIT for organising these pitching sessions which are very interesting opportunities to share with investors and partners the outcome of 3 years of R&D work.”

PRONOZIA is a company specialised in digital technologies applied to the animal health field. PRONOZIA develop innovative custom digital tools and services for animal healthcare professional, based on data science and data management methodologies using a combination of algorithmic mathematics, statistical models and machine learning. PRONOZIA finalises the development of “ZAG concept”, a decision support platform. “ZAG concept” provides qualified scientific data for helping vet practitioners to improve management of their daily clinical cases.