Dymium from Munich wins the BioRegions 2021 Innovation Award

At the start of the German Biotechnology Days 2021 in Stuttgart, the winners of this year's BioRegions Innovation Award were announced. Three projects from the fields of medical technology and vaccine and active ingredient research were able to convince the jury. In addition to the Innovation Award, the project of the Munich-based company Dymium also won the Audience Award.

The award ceremony for the Innovation Prize of the BioRegions, the Council of German BioRegions, took place during the opening of the German Biotechnology Days on September 20, 2021 in Stuttgart. This year, the event was again able to take place in attendance, after the winning teams had to forgo an official award ceremony last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The three prizes of equal value, each worth 2,000 euros, went to scientists from Munich, Berlin and Magdeburg, and in their thematic diversity are at the same time an example of the wide range of innovative research activity in Germany.

New technology for removing kidney stones

Among the winners is the project "Suspension for the magnetization of kidney stones" by Dr. Sebastian Schwaminger and Florian Ebel with their team from the TU München. The young company Dymium has developed a technology based on a biocompatible agent for the magnetization of urinary stone fragments.
The biomedical engineering approach represents an innovative and novel method of minimally invasive and residue-free magnetic kidney stone extraction in one step and raises the prospect of greater chances of healing and surgical improvements.

"Our goal is to avoid hundreds of thousands of follow-up surgeries and associated pain for patient:s," said CEO Florian Ebel.

With this technology, the researchers were already able to convince at the Munich Business Plan Competition 2021 and were one of the winning teams of the first phase. The audience was also enthusiastic and Dymium thus also secured the Audience Award of the Innovation Prize of the BioRegions with prize money of a further 2,000 euros.

Innovative vaccines and active substances

Pramomolecular's project "Platform technology for covalent siRNA delivery molecules" is also among this year's winners. Dr. Merle Fuchs from TU Berlin was already among the top ten in the Science4Life Venture Cup 2021 with her innovative technology.
The core technology of the project is based on lipid phosphoramidites (lipid PADs) or related molecules (e.g. LNAs), which are used as covalent delivery molecules for therapeutic oligonucleotides (TON). Compared to particulate delivery systems (e.g. lipid nanoparticles), self-delivering TON can be synthesized, purified as well as stored much more easily and are less immunogenic. The project thus promises great potential for therapeutic application.

Furthermore, the project "Purification tool to tackle vaccine bottlenecks" of the ContiVir team led by Dr. Pavel Marichal-Gallardo at the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics of Complex Technical Systems (MDI) in Magdeburg was awarded.
The miniaturized and flexibly deployable system can be used to quickly and efficiently establish production capacities that allow the scalable purification of a broad spectrum of virus particles for the production of vaccines or gene therapeutics. Especially against the current background of the COVID-19 pandemic, the particular relevance of such a system, which allows high flexibility and rapid start-up, becomes apparent. In addition, the approach developed here opens up the possibility of rapidly and efficiently increasing production capacities in the global South as well, should the need arise.

The Innovation Award of the BioRegions in Germany

With the Innovation Award, the Working Group of Germany's BioRegions honors outstanding ideas and patents with high economic potential from the field of modern biotechnology and related converging technologies. Each year, the working group awards prizes to the three most innovative (patented) research ideas in the life sciences. In this way, the Innovation Award of Germany's BioRegions promotes the transfer between science and industry and strengthens public interest in biotechnological research.
The competition was organized by the BioRegioN technology cluster Life Sciences Lower Saxony and biosaxony e.V..

Further information and the pitch videos of the Innovation Award Winners 2021: