Biomedical entrepreneurship in Valencia – 1st VLC INNOSALUD event.

A remarkable event took place last Tuesday in Valencia. The two main local universities and three hospital research trusts introduced eleven selected entrepreneurship initiatives to investors. Besides the many impressive proposals and the gifted teams leading them, this first edition stood out as demonstration of the powerful outcomes of collaboration among these public institutions. For many years they have successfully encouraged and funded seed actions for inter institutional research projects. Most of the showcased companies have indeed been born at the interface of biomedical, clinical and engineering research. This history of joint promotion of research is hopefully growing into more coordinated strategies to transfer research results into innovation and as a symbiotic voice towards regional and national political decision makers.

At the event, after institutional and political speeches that were a bit dull and lacklustre, presenting entrepreneurs had around 10 minutes to talk about their plans and answer questions from investors. These are my quick notes on them, please excuse brevity and inaccuracies.

Eritrocare (Presented by Emilio Sánchez Ortiga). Microscopy tools for the diagnosis of diabetes in real time. Detection, without staining, of morphological changes in erythrocytes from a blood capillary sample, with specialised propietary hardware and software. Launching with TRL4 and plan to reach TRL9 in 3 years with an investment of 500k€.

Match Biosystems (Presented by Adrián Teruel). Rapid in vitro detection of infectious pathogens. Mesoporous material with molecular gates that match oligonucleotide chains and release staining visible with the naked eye or with fluorometry. Beachhead application for candida albicans, with a diagnostic time of less than one hour, high sensitivity and low cost. Currently in TRL6.

MetSPag (Presented by Nuria Cabedo). New therapeutic agents for metabolic syndrome. PPARs agonist molecules. Currently in TRL3. Current plan to finish the pre-clinical phase.

DuraLocK (Presented by Carles). Seal kit to treat accidental ruptures of the human dura mater membrane. Application kit and implant / resorbable PLA thread to respond to and treat on site an accidental puncture of the dura, like the ones that rarely but sometimes happen during an epidural anesthesia procedure, with potential grave complications for the patient. Currently in animal model trial (sheep).

3D Surgical Technologies (Presented by ) Prosthesis for neo vaginal surgeries custom manufactured by 3D printing. An implant (named Paciena) for women born without a vagina. Most common current surgical technique uses artisanal prostheses, not well designed and with frequent complications. Plan to finish certification and implementation of marketing channels during 2020, with a need for financing of 400k€. Product launch in 2021.

Endoscopic Smart Center (Presented by Oscar Díaz and Lucas). System for monitoring and control of homeostasis in cavities. Insufflator system for endoscopy with temperature sensors in the surgical trocars, volume of the cavity, control and recycling of the gas used, and an artificial intelligence system that uses the images in real time to help the clinical decision. Plan to move from TRL6 to TRL9 in two years including clinical trial, with a budget of a bit over € 1M.

HistShock (Presented by José Luis García Gimenez). Test for sepsis diagnosis with isotopically labeled peptides. Relies on mass spectroscopy equipments, but with critical advantages over current tests, sensitivity and speed. 4-year investment plan of 3M€, 560k€ the first two years with clear milestones.

Brain Touch (Presented by Paco Camarena). Helmet for neurological treatments. Several neurological conditions targeted, Alzheimer’s, and others. Helmet focused utrasound with propietary system of lenses, to open the blood brain barrier and allow drugs into the brain. Plan to develop prototypes, validations, and certifications during the next three years.

Smart-Sens-H2S (Presented by Pilar Campins Falcó). Colorimetric sensor for halitosis detection. Bag test for blowing, onto colorimetric sensor, and mobile app.

Imaging Biomarker Analytics (Presented by Eric Abado). Biomarkers for the early detection of breast cancer. Image analysis software, multiparameter integration. Hospital license business model.

NELA Biodynamics (Presented by José Expósito Ollero). Expandable medical devices for orthopedic and trauma surgery. Intra bone marrow hip implant with expandable polymeric materials. The NELA implant is made by drilling instead of by impact reducing bone fracture during surgery. The procedure introduces the implant with slack and then it is expanded to a tight fix adaptable to bone and patient. Plan to move from TRL 6 to TRL 9 in four years.

More about the event in this press release.