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New Biopôle Start-up Fund winners: ND Biosciences and Limula

Two life sciences companies, Limula and ND Biosciences, have recently been awarded the Biopôle Start-up Fund. The initiative, which includes up to CHF 90,000 support per year for up to three consecutive years, aims to boost innovative and promising life sciences projects. The fund is designed to help with the costs of rental, R&D and key services.

The team of Limula at StartLab: Luca Bellosta, Luc Henry, Yann Pierson, Nasri Nahas (Biopôle SA), Thomas Eaton and Omran El Rifaï 

Both ND Biosciences and Limula are established members of StartLab, the fully equipped shared lab space launched by Biopôle SA in 2018.

Limula is developing a unique proprietary platform for closed and automated manufacturing of cell-based therapies under development for treating previously uncurable cancer and other life-threatening conditions. The aim is to make these highly personalised treatments safer, more affordable and more accessible to the patients. Limula’s seven-strong team is led by Luc Henry, former advisor to EPFL President Martin Vetterli.

Meanwhile, ND Biosciences develops next-generation therapeutics and diagnostics for neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. Their technologies and innovative platforms allow them to develop novel therapies and diagnostics that account for the complexity and heterogeneity of pathological species and processes, which distinguishes them from other companies focusing on only one specific form or process. Co-founded by Hilal Lashuel and Bilal Fares, the team moved to StartLab in September 2019 and now comprises six people.

It is an award that will give us the space, time and resources we need to make an impact.

Luc Henry, CEO and Co-Founder of Limula

Luc Henry, CEO and Co-Founder of Limula, said: ‘We are incredibly grateful to receive another boost in the form of the Biopôle Start-up Fund. It is an award that will give us the space, time and resources we need to make an impact ­– and ultimately, to make it easier to produce cell therapies routinely, at scale.’

Bilal Fares and Nasri Nahas at Biopôle

Co-Founder of ND Biosciences, Bilal Fares, commented: ‘We feel very fortunate to be part of the Biopôle ecosystem. Since our incubation at Startlab in 2019, we were able to interact, collaborate, learn and advance at a very quick pace. The new support provided through the Biopôle Start-up Fund will allow ND Biosciences to expand its lab space, accelerate certain R&D processes, and develop the patenting strategy of its new exciting products’.

Since it was launched in May 2021, the Biopôle Start-up Fund has supported a diverse selection of organisations, including Genknowme, Novostia, Alithea Genomics, Adaptyv Biosystems, Testmate, Atinary and biped.ai. Biopôle’s CEO, Nasri Nahas, said: ‘We’re thrilled to welcome two more dynamic start-ups to join our Start-up Fund. We can’t wait to see what happens next for them in the coming months and years.’

Companies interested in applying for the Biopôle Start-up Fund can find all the information they need by clicking on the box on the right.

The next application deadline is 15th December, 2022.

The Biopôle Start-up Fund
Launched in 2021, the Biopôle’s Start-up Fund is a flagship initiative that helps the most promising life sciences ventures on campus to focus on what they do best. With up to three years of support with the costs of rental, research and development and key services, Biopôle SA supports entrepreneurial passion and early-stage innovation. The fund’s primary goal is to encourage start-ups that show scientific impact and growth potential. Companies are chosen based on scientific excellence, the relevance of their business model and the quality of founding and management teams.

Next application deadline: 15th December, 2022

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