Dewi, DNAQuraCy, naialabs and MagFlow awarded grants from FIT
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The FIT, (Fondation pour l’Innovation Technologique) in canton of Vaud awarded 4 promising Swiss Health Valley projects. DNAQuraCy spun out of UNIL/CHUV and works on the next generation DNA sequencing tools. The three other projects are spin-offs from EPFL: Dewi anticipates anxiety attacks through neuroscience, naialabs allows at-home blood testing and MagFlow is miniaturizing microcatheters.
DNAQuraCy: next-generation DNA library preparation
Through close collaboration with UNIL and CHUV, the team developed a novel library quality control tool to analyse DNA fragments more accurately. The main innovation comes from the system to analyse the fragments’ length and characterize them by their features. While current library quality control tools use gel electrophoresis, which can be difficult to use and not always correct, DNAQuraCy uses solid-state nanopore sensing technology instead. This allows the startup to improve the accuracy of its system and reduce costs related to sequencing.
The project receinved an InnoTREK grant of CHF 100,000 that will cover the start-up first expenses and enable to develop a working prototype of the DNA library control tool.
Dewi prevents mental health events
Addressing an important societal issue, Dewi allows doctors specialised in mental health issues and their patients to move from a reactive to a proactive approach, thanks to neuroscience. Combining bio-marker data and advanced machine learning algorithms, the team behind Dewi managed to predict upcoming events such as anxiety attacks.
Through a wearable device analysing heart variability, sleep patterns and other elements, the device can prevent the user before a bad mental health event happens.
Dewi received a CHF 100’000 Innogrant to further develop its predictive algorithms and finalize a working prototype, all in the EPFL labs.
naialabs: easy blood testing for everyone, everywhere
naialabs has miniaturized the technology needed for blood testing. At the naialabs laboratory, a blood microsample self-collected at home using a simple finger prick will be sufficient for measurement of important biomarkers associated with common health concerns, bringing comfort and convenience to users.
With the CHF 100,000 Innogrant awarded by the FIT selection committee, naialabs will cover its first expenses and strongly invest in R&D.
MagFlow developed a futuristic microcatheter
Accessing arteries can be extremely challenging, especially in tortuous places like the brain. According to clinicians, safely accessing arteries smaller than 0.5mm is technically impossible. But MagFlow’s solution offers a new way of moving catheters around, allowing them to reach 0.2mm arteries. This could potentially provide vascular access to the entire brain, a technique that could save lives in cases of haemorrhagic stokes or brain tumours, for example.
After having recently obtained positive results in its first in vivo test, MagFlow will now file various patents and further develop its prototype thanks to the CHF 100’000 Innogrant.