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Happy birthday StartLab!

StartLab, Biopôle’s fully equipped shared and serviced lab space, is now five years old. Since its creation, it has served more than 40 start-ups and today it hosts 18 companies, specialising in various field from enabling technologies to diagnostics and cell therapies.

Inaugurated in March 2018 (see the original announcement here), it was able to host up to 12 companies; HAYA Therapeutics, Gnubiotics Sciences and Volumina Medical were the first to move in. Unique in Switzerland, the shared facility was – and still is – suitable for launching a small project, a new start-up or a period of transition.

Five years on, a lot has changed. StartLab’s lab space recently grew from 700 to 1,000 m2. It currently offers lab infrastructure and equipment, with 64 benches tailored to wetlab life sciences research, plus front office management. Biopôle has also extended StartLab’s co-working office space from 300 to 500 m2, now housing 40 individual desks. There are new equipment and amenities to enjoy too, such as a biosafety level 2 lab, a fab-lab, a bigger cafeteria and more meeting rooms. These changes aim to further assist StartLab companies to grow and to meet increasing demand for shared serviced laboratories on site.

Having access to a mechanical workshop and a BSL2 laboratory will be key to the next steps of our product development and testing.

Luc Henry, CEO and Co-founder of Limula

Luc Henry, CEO of StartLab resident Limula, explains how StartLab’s expansion has benefited his company: ‘The Limula team is excited to move into the new facilities available at StartLab. The development of our automated platform for the production of personalised cell therapies requires mechanical engineering and cell culture activities. Having access to a mechanical workshop and a BSL2 laboratory will be key to the next steps of our product development and testing.’

For Nasri Nahas, CEO at Biopôle SA, five years is long enough to evaluate the success of the programme: ‘The first three residents are all still at Biopôle – they have simply outgrown StartLab. HAYA Therapeutics and Gnubiotics Sciences moved on to Superlab, which offers private serviced lab space with some shared equipment, while Volumina Medical has its own private office. By always listening carefully to our members’ needs we were able to adapt our offering, at StartLab and elsewhere, thus suitably accompanying the growth journey of our members.’

Meanwhile, StartLab is ready to welcome new generations of innovative start-ups ready to take on the latest entrepreneurial and scientific challenges facing the life sciences sector.

The new StartLab's open-space offers 500m2 of co-working.

Current StartLab residents:

AC Bioscience
AC Bioscience is a clinical-stage biotech company developing personalised molecular therapies for solid tumour cancer patients, with a clinical focus on colorectal cancer and metastatic pancreatic cancer.

Adaptyv Biosystems
Adaptyv Biosystems is building a next-generation protein engineering platform by coupling computational prediction, experimental validation with cell-free synthetic biology and high-throughput nanofluidics.

AKYmed works in the field of reproductive technology, developing next-generation male fertility analysis solutions for doctors, laboratories, clinics, hospitals, breeding studs and research institutes.

Alithea Genomics
Alithea Genomics is a biotech developing high-throughput transcriptomics solutions for research and biomarker discovery, using large-scale RNA sequencing.

arcoris bio
arcoris bio enables next-generation multiplex spatial biomarker detection for research and diagnostics through its multiomics signal enhancement nanotechnology, MUSE.

Atinary Technologies
Atinary is a deep tech start-up that uses AI, machine learning, robotics and cloud computing to accelerate R&D and optimise processes for breakthrough in several industries, including pharma, biotech and materials.

Genknowme works on developing an innovative blood test that identifies key epigenetic markers, to help adults track, maintain and improve their well-being and potential longevity.

Limula is working to develop technology that can perform every step of the cell therapy manufacturing process in a single device, directly at the point of care.

MediCrops is a pharmaceutical company specialising in the production and processing of medicinal cannabis preparations containing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

Mosaic Neurosciences
Mosaic NeuroSciences develops new therapeutic solutions in the fields of neurology and neurodegenerative disorders, such as frontotemporal dementia (FTD) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

ND Biosciences
ND Biosciences develops next-generation diagnostics and therapeutics to prevent or reverse the pathological protein aggregation observed in neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.

Otten Life Sciences Consulting
Otten Life Sciences Consulting offers tailored services in the finance and healthcare industries for investors, shareholders and life sciences companies.

Parithera leverages liquid biopsy to provide a minimally invasive diagnostic that analyses cancer treatment resistance and allows clinicians to adjust treatment regimen.

PDC Therapeutics
PDC Therapeutics is a clinical-stage biotech company developing smart nanomedicines for targeted therapies, using polymer-drug conjugate technology, that seek to provide cancer patients with an optimal therapeutic index.

Sulfiscon is a start -p developing small molecule allosteric modulators that regulate cellular hydrogen sulfide (H2S) production in order to alleviate disorders of pathologic calcification and inflammation.

Testmate Health
Testmate Health is a medtech start-up developing a rapid at-home self-testing kit: a simple urine test for four common sexually transmitted diseases that provides results in minutes.

Vanarix is a clinical-stage start-up specialising in regenerative medicine, which aims to develop innovative and effective cell-based therapies, such as Cartibeads for treating articular cartilage damage.

VitalizeDx focuses on measurements and analyses of saliva for diagnostic purposes to the end of developing therapeutic strategies in the fields of wellness, preventive medicine and chronic disease.

This list is not complete. It only includes companies that wish for their Biopôle location to be made public.


StartLab is a fully equipped, shared laboratory that offers state-of-the-art infrastructure, equipment and offices. The 1,500 m2 space is tailored to companies operating in wet-lab biology and chemistry environments for drug discovery, diagnostics, synthetic biology, medtech and other areas of the life sciences. The lab is fully licensed and managed by a dedicated on-site manager. Regular events are organised to create collaboration opportunities among members. Since 2018, StartLab has hosted more than 25 diverse start-ups who benefit from a flexible pricing model that can be reviewed on a quarterly basis.

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