As part of this year's BioTech Bootcamp of BioM Biotech Cluster Development GmbH and the life science business incubator „SmiLe Incubator“ from Lund, Sweden, the international, eight-week training program for prospective founders and young companies climaxed in the Munich “Demo Week”. Nine teams, aiming to develop and commercialize their biotech business idea, showed in the IZB on the Martinsried campus what they had learned in the past eight weeks and presented their start-up ideas to a public audience on the final "Demo Day". GENICITY won the prize, awarded by sponsor Merck: a visit to their Merck M Lab™ Collaboration Center in France. The winner of the Roche Audience Award was team RevoBITs who can look forward to participating exclusively at the Founder’s Festival Bits & Pretzels HealthTech 2024.
The BioTech Bootcamp is an eight-week hybrid training program that provides European start-up teams with the opportunity to validate and develop their business ideas in the field of therapeutics development with the help of life science experts.
This week, the BioTech Bootcamp climaxed in the on-site week held at BioM in Martinsried and the “Munich Demo Day” in the Innovation Centre at the Campus Martinsried. Teams from Germany, Sweden, Czech Republic and Ireland presented their business ideas to the BioM network. Two teams that were particularly compelling with their presentations were GENICITY and RevoBITs.
GENICITY brings cell therapy within reach. GENICITY is an allogeneic cell gene therapy platform dedicated to making cancer a chronic disease by offering safe, affordable and off-the-shelf allogeneic cell therapies. GENICITY offers a unique universal T cell platform that is unable to recognize or kill any type of cancer, and this platform can be directed and activated using any anti-CD3 bispecific antibody to target and eliminate any type of cancer. Combination of the platform with an anti-CD3 bispecific antibody enhances its effectiveness, survival rates, and duration of response.
The teams of GENICITY can look forward to receiving the prize offered by sponsor Merck and is invited to visit the Merck M Lab™ Collaboration Center in Molsheim, France. The center offers biopharmaceutical manufacturers the opportunity to work closely with Merck scientists and engineers to solve the toughest challenges and accelerate the development of new therapies.
"We are overwhelmed to have been awarded this unique opportunity by Merck. This is a chance for us to accelerate our product development and overcome challenges that still need to be overcome," says founder and project lead Dr. Muneer Sawaied of GENICITY. "In Molsheim, we will have the opportunity to leverage Merck's incredible industry and expert knowledge.
The Roche Audience Award went to the team of RevoBITs from the Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg. RevoBITs develops the first smart bio-printer to enable medical research and the pharmaceutical industry to develop and reproducibly produce meaningful human tissue models. By combining multi-material printing, seamless temperature control and sensor-based characterization methods, the printer provides the technological basis to replace animal testing in drug development and to provide tissue for transplantation medicine in the long term.
The team can look forward to receiving an invitation from sponsor Roche to give a presentation at the Bits & Pretzels HealthTech 2024 start-up festival. This will give the future start-up the opportunity to make contact with Roche and the European innovation community to further develop solutions for its idea.
Stefan Schrüfer of RevoBITs: "We really enjoyed being part of this year's BioTech Bootcamp. We are also really honoured that our business idea was awarded the Roche Audience Award. We have learnt so much from the bootcamp mentors and coaches over the past few weeks. And it was a fantastic opportunity to meet other European entrepreneurs, experts from the pharmaceutical industry and potential investors. The award crowns our journey through these educational weeks."
Expert lectures, individual coaching and mentoring give Bootcamp participants access to entrepreneurial expertise and a unique insight into the biotech industry. In this way the entrepreneurs- are prepared at an early stage to meet investors, pharmaceutical companies, and other industry players. They gain the knowledge, skills, and contacts necessary to transform a breakthrough biotech idea into a successful, scalable company.
Upon completion of the program, participants have the opportunity to be screened for acceptance into more advanced programs at SmiLe or at BioM to bring their business ideas to market.
"There is excellent biotechnology research at our universities. We want to support young researchers in further developing their ideas and translating them into marketable services and products. That is why we are very proud of the customized bootcamp program for future biotech entrepreneurs that we have developed together with BioM. We are particularly delighted to collaborate with Merck, Roche and the European Commission who contribute important industrial expertise, exciting prizes and valuable content to the bootcamp as sponsors," says Dr. Barbara Klein, Bootcamp Manager of SmiLe.
"We are very happy to be able to run the BioTech Bootcamp together with SmiLe. Based on our complementary expertise, we have developed a unique curriculum. In addition to providing access to the networks of two European biotech hotspots, we hope to have equipped the participating teams by numerous mentors, experts and coaches with the necessary tools to build successful start-ups," says Dr. Stephanie Bartelsen-Wehnelt, Start-up & Development Program Lead at BioM Biotech Cluster Development GmbH. “Of course, we are happy to continue supporting all teams and wish them much success and all the best for the future!"
The teams of the BioTech Bootcamp 2023 and their ideas:
AmyCure Bio – blocking amyloids for Parkinson's treatment.
AmyCure Bio aims to create intranasal drugs that stop Parkinson's disease progression. A key factor in the disease is a pathological aggregation of protein alpha-synuclein (αSyn) into amyloid fibrils. AmyCure has designed peptide inhibitors (FEPI) that prevent αSyn aggregation by blocking the fibril ends. FEPIs can thus stop the formation of αSyn amyloids in cells due to their specificity to αSyn fibril ends, surpassing other best-reported inhibitors. For this purpose, the FEPI structure was optimized for better intranasal administration.
Emulsi Biotech – natural platforms for drug formulation and delivery.
Emulsi Biotech AB provides innovative and sustainable solutions to produce complex bioactive compound delivery systems from plant-based materials. The focus is on utilizing natural and ecological methods to meet the demands of the cosmetics, food, and pharmaceutical industries. Emulsi’s goal is to promote a healthier, more environmentally friendly and more conscious approach to product development.
ENDOLEASE – an innovative high precision drug delivery system.
ENDOLEASE-systems is developing an innovative system for super selective drug release to improve effectivity and safety of pharmacotherapy of multiple diseases. The prototype of endovascularly implantable, biodegradable ENDOLEASE system combines modern, combined bioprinting technologies and can be automatically and rapidly loaded with a combination of therapeutic agents.
Factorize.bio – learning the language of undruggable disease proteins.
Factorize.bio is an AI-first biotechnology company dedicated to making the rational design of active drugs a reality. With an integrated, AI-first design platform that simulates drug activity - the impact on disease-causing protein function – Factorize-bio accelerates and de-risks small molecule drug discovery. Based on biophysically-informed protein language models of the protein sequence-structure-function relationship, algorithms can identify where and how small molecule compounds need to bind to a disease protein to have the desired therapeutic activity.
RaidoGene – Seeing is believing visualizing cell and gene therapies.
RaidoGene offers a patented imaging technology that allows non-invasive tracking of advanced therapy medicinal products (ATMPs), including cell, viral or gene therapies, during therapy. The platform technology consists of two main components: a gene encoding a membrane protein (DTPA-R reporter) associated with the ATMP and a radioligand. The radioligand binds exclusively to the reporter gene, and the radioactivity retained on the ATMP can be quantified using positron emission tomography (PET).
Reactive Oxygen Therapeutics (ROT) – prodrugs utilizing oxidative stress in the fight against autoimmune diseases and cancer.
Reactive Oxygen Therapeutics (ROT) is dedicated to the treatment of diseases triggered or accompanied by oxidative stress (OS), such as autoimmune diseases and cancer. ROT's innovative approach is based on a novel small molecule prodrug strategy built around OS-inducing molecular catalysts. These prodrugs are meticulously designed to be activated exclusively in cells already experiencing oxidative stress, thereby addressing the patient's condition without causing harm to healthy tissues. The modular design of these prodrugs opens the potential to create a diverse portfolio of therapeutic agents, capable of targeting a wide range of health conditions.
RiboRUS – mapping ribonucleotides genome-wide.
RiboRUS is developing a novel method for genome-wide mapping of ribonucleotides at single-nucleotide resolution. The method, hyden-seq, can be used to identify unique ribonucleotide patterns, e.g. for differentiation of healthy cells to cancerous cells and metastasis. Foreseen applications of the Hyden-seq method include the validation of inhibitor candidates for DNA damage repair both in vitro and in vivo, diagnostic biomarkers for cancer cells, and prognostic tools to identify and select patients who are most likely to respond to treatment. The method involves three main steps (preparation sample, genomic analysis, interpretation of data) utilizing equipment typically available at larger pharmaceutical companies and CROs.
The BioTech Bootcamp program is free for the founding teams. It currently takes place every year and is supported this year by the European Commission, Merck and Roche.
Further information at www.smileincubator.life/biotech-bootcamp/