People behind Swiss Innovation
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  • aeon-crm.jpg
    Dominik Bell, Aeon CEO, at the Swiss Technological Award in 2014.

    Green light to Alumnus Aeon Scientific to launch its Aeon Phocus

    Do. 30.07.2015, 09:00

    Aeon Scientific announces that it has received the CE Mark approval for the Aeon Phocus, an electromagnetic system to steer ablation catheters for the treatment of cardiac arrhythmias. More than one in a hundred people are affected by cardiac arrhythmias. The product is now available throughout Europe where more than one thousand clinics currently perform cardiac ablation procedures....Read more

    “CE mark approval of the Aeon Phocus is a major milestone for Aeon Scientific”, stated Dominik Bell, CEO of Aeon Scientific. “With our product we want to improve ablation procedures that a quarter of a million patients per year undergo in Europe. We are now excited to see how the result of our efforts can be put to use and help to improve outcomes for many patients.”

    The system supports electrophysiologists during catheter ablation procedures for the treatment of cardiac arrhythmias, such as Atrial Fibrillation. It allows the physician to move the ablation catheter within the heart of the patient with magnetic fields. With the improved control and the high intuitiveness and dexterity that the system provides the company intends to improve procedures for the benefit of patients and healthcare providers.

    In the long-term it is the company’s objective to turn the Aeon Phocus into a platform for remotely controlling multiple types of interventional instruments such as catheters, guide wires and endoscopes. Based on this successful milestone Aeon Scientific is currently fundraising to finance the broader market launch in Europe and to achieve product approval in additional regions worldwide.

    In 2014, Aeon Scientific closed a financing round of CHF 4.3 million and won the Swiss Technological Award. In 2011, the ETH spin-off based in Schlieren won the Venture Kick final. The same year, Dominik Bell, its CEO, was part of the Swiss national startup team in Boston to learn more about the opportunities of market offered in the USA for his company.

    Aeon is also one of the best Swiss startups (startup.ch) of Switzerland in 2014.  

    Content via startupticker.ch

    Additional Links
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  • amal.JPG
    Amal uses its proprietary cell penetrating peptide platform to develop and progress therapeutic vaccines in oncology.

    Amal Therapeutics publishes R&D findings in Cancer Research

    Do. 23.07.2015, 17:00

    TOP100 2014, 2012 venture leader USA and Venture Kick alumnus Amal Therapeutics recently announced that part of its recent research findings about a new type of recombinant protein cancer vaccines has been published on-line on the Cancer Research's website....Read more

    The publication underlines the value of a novel immunotherapy class able to simultaneously inducing multi-epitopic immunity, T helper functions and immunologic memory. The article shows that vaccines tested are able to significantly prolonged survival in three robust tumor models. “The results published are demonstrating the proof of concept and showing the strength of Amal’s platform for the development of potent, safe and efficacious cancer vaccines”, said Dr. Derouazi, CEO of Amal Therapeutics. “Having the outcome of our work published in Cancer Research is a great success and a value recognition of the scientific approach taken since Amal’s incorporation in 2012”, added Dr. Derouazi.

    Amal Therapeutics is a privately held Swiss/German biotech startup company and spin-off from the University of Geneva, incorporated in September 2012. Amal uses its proprietary cell penetrating peptide platform to develop and progress therapeutic vaccines in oncology.

    In 2012, Amal CEO Madiha Derouazi traveled to Boston with the Swiss national startup team. The startup also entered the TOP100 Swiss startups ranking (startup.ch/top100) in 2014. Amal Therapeutics is also a Venture Kick alumni.

    Additional Links
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    More about the TOP100 Swiss startups
    Accelerate your startup with venturelab!
    Venture Kick: CHF 130'000 to kick-off your startup

  • interax-crm1.JPG
    Aurélien Rizk, Martin Ostermaier and Luca Zenone have many different personal and professional skills and form a really motivated team.

    "InterAx technology will allow discriminating between good and bad drug candidates in order to start clinical trials with higher probability to succeed."

    Mi. 22.07.2015, 09:00

    The ETH and PSI spin-off InterAx Biotech won the second stage of Venture Kick and its CHF 20’000 of pre-seed capital, in June 2015. We interviewed co-founder Martin Ostermaier, a biochemist, inventor and an ETH pioneer fellow about the great news - and about Interax's plans for the future....Read more

    Are you happy to have won the second stage of Venture Kick?
    Yes of course we are happy! The Venture Kick jury saw the potential of InterAx during the first stage and decided to support the team. Winning the second stage confirms that we have made an important step, which is converting the business idea into a solid business case. We are now in the third round also because we have improved in communicating both the value of our biotech product for the customer and the business case to a very heterogeneous group of experts.

    What kind of technology are you developing?
    Nine of ten drug candidates never reach the market, this costs Pharma each year billions of francs. InterAx technology will allow selecting better drug candidates with higher chance to succeed for approval; that means more drugs eventually reach the market and improve patients’ lives. We focus on GPCRs, which are the biological target of 40% of all modern drugs. Currently, Pharma still lacks information in understanding how drugs act on GPCRs leading to underinformed decisions for choosing the right drug candidates. InterAx develops reagents, cell lines and software that together improve efficiency of drug discovery for GPCRs.

    What stage is your startup today and what do you plan next?
    InterAx Biotech is currently spinning off the ETH Zurich and the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI) in Villigen, where the technology has been developed. It is seed-funded and supported by both institutions. Currently, we are implementing the technology at PSI in a first product, which will facilitate drug discovery for treating ocular diseases. On the business side we are very active in customer visits, discussions with investors and industry experts. Collecting their feedbacks allows us to better align our product development strategy with current market needs.

    How did the idea of InterAx Biotech come up?
    During his PhD, Martin worked on the stabilization of a protein complex consisting of a GPCR and another protein. At some point, we realized that we had a unique and novel technology in our hands that we protected by filing a patent application. The ETH Pioneer Fellowship gave then the financial support and access to a great network of experts and entrepreneurs for starting a business right after. The name InterAx is a blend word between the words “interaction” and “arrestin” and reflects the mechanism on which the technology is based on.

    What distinguishes your technology from your competitors’?
    A drug induces a very specific cellular signaling. “Good” and “bad” drug candidates can be discriminated by the cellular signaling that they induce. While good drug candidates induce signaling that leads only to the desired effect in the patient, bad ones originate adverse effects. Competitive technologies do not allow to discriminate between good and bad drug candidates easily. They cannot dissect the complex signaling networks unambiguously. InterAx technology will allow discriminating between good and bad drug candidates in order to start clinical trials with higher probability to succeed.

    Why did you apply for Venture Kick and what are the benefits of such a program for you?
    Venture Kick is widely recognized as the best Startup advancement program in Switzerland. Since it is also known as an excellent pre-selection process for promising start-ups, passing the different stages is for us a certificate of quality. It gives credibility and visibility, and access to the highly interconnected Swiss Biotech network. Apart from the money, the Kickers Camps are the most important benefit for the entrepreneurs. During the camps we were challenged and forced to improve our business case by getting very direct and highly valuable feedback from experienced entrepreneurs and investors. The lessons learned were essential and brought us faster and more focused forward.

    In your opinion, how did you convince the jury on stage two?
    This is an hard question to answer. Maybe at first the team with broad skillset, which was able to attract a unique advisory board. Second, the wide applicability of the IP-protected technology in different disease areas which allows us to scale up our business step by step and reach different markets. Third, we have already a marketable product prototype and a potential customer which is going to test it. Good results may lead to a larger volume of sales for InterAx, and the willingness of the potential customer to buy and test our second product. Finally, we showed that we could already convince investors and raise money for our startup.

    And how do you think you will convince the jury at the final?
    We think we need to work harder on some aspects of our business case and show faster execution. This means we need to make larger sales revenue by attracting more customers or increasing sales volume per project within the next six to eight months. A key goal is also to ensure R&D resources by raising funds for product development and attract skilled scientists into our team. In conclusion, we need to show that we can increase the value of InterAx Biotech. 

    Tell us something about you that nobody knows!
    Maybe you already know that we speak three out of four Swiss official languages: German, French and Italian? However, we are used to communicate in English within our team. Or that Luca races at international Enduro mountain bike competitions around Europe? Or that Aurélien owns a software company that develops physics simulation applications for fun and education? This is the strong and very motivated team that is working to make InterAx a successful Swiss biotech start-up.

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  • 60 venture kickers made it to the TOP 100 startups

    Each year, startup.ch launches the TOP 100 STARTUP AWARD in cooperation with the Handelszeitung. From over 100,000 young companies, the 100 most innovative and promising Swiss startups are picked by top startup experts.

    Check out the TOP 100
  • Kick your startup idea to success with venture kick

    venture kick helps potential entrepreneurs by giving them the opportunity to win up to CHF 130,000. Moreover, startups can use the know-how of experienced experts and entrepreneurs and be granted access to a network of investors.

    More
  • Swiss startups ready to take over the World.

    The venture leaders have a clear-cut goal. They envision themselves as global players and want to take the first step to their global expansion. The ten-day business development program is specifically structured to help them achieve this goal.

    More
  • The first address for Startups in Switzerland

    More than 50.000 startups were accompanied by the IFJ. A little more then 25 years ago, we have made it our mission to guide these entrepreneurs on their way to successful businesses. So they can develop their role as a part of the Swiss economy.

    More