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The final three Biopôle Start-up Fund winners of 2022: Volumina Medical, Parithera and PeriVision

We have selected three new companies, Volumina Medical, Parithera and PeriVision, for the Biopôle Start-up Fund, the final recipients of 2022. The initiative, which includes up to CHF 90,000 of 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.

Nasri Nahas, CEO of Biopôle with Amélie Béduer CEO of Volumina Medical

Volumina Medical is led by Amélie Béduer, an entrepreneur in the field of medical devices for plastic and reconstructive surgery. The team of six are developing a platform of highly innovative biomaterials for regenerative medicine based on rigorous research performed at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL).

The innovative character of the technology and the quality of the supporting scientific data particularly impressed the Biopôle Start-up Fund committee and this award builds on the investment given by Clinique La Prairie, a corporate partner of Biopôle, in 2021.

With the support from the Biopôle Start-up Fund, we will be able to acquire new equipment for the production of our medical device

Amélie Béduer, CEO of Volumina Medical

Aiming to bring the first reliable diagnostics to detect cancer treatment resistance early, Parithera has created an innovative integrated platform that identifies circulating tumour cells (CTCs) that have detached from a solid tumour and are travelling in the bloodstream. Currently, over 90% of patient deaths are due to treatment resistance, so minimally invasive diagnostics are needed to enable medical professionals to adapt treatment, making it more effective when tackling resistant tumours. Through nano- and microfluidic technology, the team of two has created a process to analyse and process very small samples, providing key information to drive new treatment strategies.

Team of Parithera with Nasri Nahas, CEO of Biopôle
Antoine Herzog (left), and Weida Chen (right), co-founders of Parithera with Nasri Nahas, CEO of Biopôle.

What captured the Biopôle Start-up Fund committee’s interest was the elegance of the technological approach integrating complex microfluidic systems for single-cell analysis from blood biopsies. This could allow unparalleled advancements in cancer management for treatment-resistant tumours.

Antoine Herzog, CEO and Co-founder of Parithera said: ‘The outlook of having a positive effect on people’s lives is highly motivating. The assistance given via the Biopôle Start-up Fund is invaluable to us, supporting our goal of finding medication that overcomes resistance.’

Taking a state-of-the-art approach to challenges in the field of vision, PeriVision combines AI, VR and the cloud to build next-generation systems to understand visual function. PeriVision’s system will allow earlier detection and more efficient monitoring of eye conditions with the goal of preventing blindness. The company’s initial focus is glaucoma, a chronic eye disease leading to irreversible blindness. Worldwide, 80 million people are affected by this incurable condition. The young Lausanne-based company wants to reimagine glaucoma diagnosis and monitoring by making visual field testing much more patient-friendly and cost-efficient. As a previous participant of the Vanguard Accelerator programme in 2022, PeriVision is keen to finalise and bring to market its first health technology solution. Future products will include AI-based diagnostics and patient management tools to optimise treatment pathways and further virtual eye tests beyond visual field testing. This clarity of vision and the defined roadmap for the company’s business plan were key factors in the Biopôle Start-up Fund committee’s decision.

(From left to right) Serife Seda Kucur Ergunay and Patrick Kessel, co-founders of PeriVision, with Nasri Nahas, CEO of Biopôle.

Patrick Kessel, CEO, commented: ‘We’re thrilled to continue to be supported by Biopôle – via the Start-up Fund, the mentors and the outstanding ophthalmology expertise in the Lausanne area. We are now looking forward to finalising our solution and helping patients and clinicians worldwide via our offering of different functional eye tests and AI tools.’

We can’t wait to see what happens for our three new companies in the coming months and years.

Nasri Nahas, Biopôle’s CEO

Launched in 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.

Companies interested in this opportunity can find all the information they need and apply via the Biopôle Start-up Fund portal.

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: 17th March, 2023

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