Munich-based Lumatix Biotech wins BioRiver Boost! Competition

Dr. Benedict Doorschodt, Prof. Dr. René Tolba (both Vivalyx, 3rd place), Andreas Reichert, Ingmar Polte (both Lumatix Biotech, 1st place), Patrick Bongartz, Konstantin Kurz (both BioThrust, 2nd place) © BioRiver

The start-up Lumatix Biotech wins the BioRiver Boost! With its light-controlled antibody purification, the start-up company from Garching near Munich won first place and was thus selected as the most promising start-up of 2022. Second and third place went to BioThrust and Vivalyx from Aachen.

For the ninth time in a row, the annual European start-up competition BioRiver Boost! awarded the three best young companies. The award ceremony took place at the headquarters of this year's host, QIAGEN GmbH. The three winning teams win individually tailored coaching by experienced entrepreneurs, marketing support from experts and access to the BioRiver network with business contacts.

1st place: Antibody purification by light

The start-up Lumatix Biotech from Garching produces affinity matrices for the purification of monoclonal antibodies - light-controlled and without the use of chemicals. Lumatix Biotech founders Andreas Reichert and team member Ingmar Polte also want to bring their technology further into application with new partners from the BioRiver network. After all, the principle is very broadly applicable, as Polte explains, "We could use it to purify all biomolecules - from viral particles to proteins - very gently and efficiently."

Pitch presentation by Lumatix Biotech:

2nd place: Novel aeration of bioreactors through individual gas supply

BioThrust, a biotech start-up from Aachen, is revolutionizing the aeration of fermenters and single-use bioreactors with novel gassing solutions. BioThrust co-founders Patrick Bongartz and Konstantin Kurz had presented the project convincingly on site, so the jury saw first and second place very close to each other. "This is a great compliment, which we are very pleased about," said Kurz, whose co-founder Bongartz briefly described the technology as follows: "We ensure that no bubbles are created in the fermenter, which can tear the sensitive production cells when they rise and burst."

Pitch-presentation of BioThrust:

3rd place: Gentle organ transport without donor blood

Vivalyx from Aachen develops easy-to-use boxes and an innovative liquid, a blood-free, gentle perfusate, for the transport of organ donations, which increase organ vitality and the number of organs transported. Prof. Dr. René Tolba, co-initiator of the company, which was spun off from the University Hospital of RWTH Aachen University just two weeks ago, expressed his gratitude by saying, "The prize increases our visibility and will certainly help us in the start-up phase. And it shows us that team spirit pays off. That's great!"

Pitch-presentation of Vivalyx:

"The founders who apply to us inspire me every year. They deserve our support. I am very proud that BioRiver Boost! has established itself as a dedicated platform for a broad field of technologies - this year from medicine to process engineering and statistics to food and cosmetic dyes. We enable young companies to engage in a goal-oriented exchange with accomplished experts from the industry," said Dr. Frauke Hangen, managing director of the industry association BioRiver e.V., which has organized the competition since 2014. "Numerous representatives of the life science industry and investors interested in the sector use this day to get to know the people behind the start-ups and their innovative ideas. The BioRiver network brings professional expertise for further company development."

The BioRiver Boost! startup competition is open to very young companies developing disruptive and innovative technologies or services for the biotechnology or life science industries. Finalists are selected based on fixed evaluation criteria, such as customer value and the degree of innovation of the technology, as well as the experience of the team and the business concept. In a two-stage process, the jury first selects the eight finalists from all the applications, who then present themselves in the form of an "elevator pitch" on the actual day of the competition and answer the experts' questions.