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Semi-Finalists Announced for OneStart, the World’s Largest Idea Competition

OneStart, the largest idea competition in the world, was launched this year by Oxbridge Biotech Roundtable in partnership with SROne, the venture capital arm of GlaxoSmithKline. Through OneStart, OBR and SROne (proudly supported by Roche, Covington & Burlington LLP and Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst) are looking to catalyse the commercialisation of European science, by offering expert advice and resources to the next generation of bioentrepreneurs.

After much deliberation, 35 innovative companies have been short-listed as semi-finalists in our One Start idea competition, certainly not an easy decision given the stellar quality of the submissions. Here are the entries (in no particular order) which will be taking part in the semi-final Business Bootcamp in London on March 16, learning from and networking with the likes of GSK, Roche Venture Fund, McKinsey, Apposite Capital, SV Life Sciences, Nature Biotech and a host of experienced entrepreneurs. Out of these 35, ten teams will transition to the final round, with the chance to pitch for the grand prize – £100k, free lab space and a wealth of support. But even for those that are not going to make it this time around, there will be invaluable opportunities for networking with some of the UK’s most successful healthcare entrepreneurs  as well as top-tier venture capitalists, so we hope that many more than just one company will emerge a success from OneStart. And after all, there’s always next year as well!

anywhereHPLC, London
High Performance Liquid Chromatography is the workhorse technique of analytical chemistry, involved in fields from blood screening to water testing – but its very flexibility makes each machine bulky, complex and expensive. The anywhere HPLC is different. We have produced a user-friendly, portable and disposable unit that can provide vital information where it’s needed, while delivering high quality data to clinicians or researchers elsewhere.

BioAmp, Cambridge
A novel miniature sensor will be integrated with mobile phones and other existing electronics to allow patients suffering from chronic diseases (e.g. CVDs) to self-manage their conditions in their own homes, eliminating their need for frequent GP-surgery visits. The technology that we have developed can be used to monitor a single disease or multiple diseases simultaneously without a significant increase in the sensors’ size and cost.

Calvitium Solutions, Cambridge
Global sales in hair-loss prevention products have risen by 80% in the last 4 years to £0.5b in 2011. Calvitium Solutions has proposed a patentable product which has specific mode of action, with potentially less side effects and it is reasonably priced. The major markets include Japan, USA and EU. Our core expertise will be production, and our licensee will specialize in marketing, distribution and selling. We will exit via acquisition.

DCN Corp UK, Manchester
We have developed a Proof-of-Principle 9 combination dip coating protocol, which is highly reproducible, has faster analysis-time, requires smaller sample quantities, cost-effective and time-saving in regard of tumour screening via surface-enhanced nano bio-sensors. Our primary focus is on R&D of the proprietary dip coating protocol towards the creation of a DNA diagnostic nano bio-kit for the early, mid and late-stage detection of breast cancer.

Desktop Genetics, London
Desktop Genetics is developing a device to print synthetic genes in-house accurately and on-demand. We have translated our gene assembly expertise into intuitive software and a load-and-go printing device, slashing gene assembly time from 15 hours of laborious manual work to a mere 5 minutes. Desktop Genetics will transform biotech R&D by making genetic engineering rapid, accurate, and accessible to all.

DiamondLab Diagnostics, Bristol
Using diamond we will produce portable re-useable lab-on-a-chip diagnostic devices. By simulataneously directing and processing liquids, light or electrical currents we will make multipurpose diagnostic devices that are capable of implementing nearly all established laboratory tests in a single device. Synthetic diamond is now relatively cheap however it is hard to process. Our ThiNALE process will enable complex 3D devices for the first time.

Diatect, Cambridge
The Diatect device attaches easily to the toilet bowl and will automatically monitor for the early signs of diabetes. It will be available over the counter and incorporate seamlessly into normal daily routine without the need for regular hospital testing. By diagnosing and treating diabetes earlier we can avoid the devastating vascular complications associated with the disease.

DocDx™, Cambridge
DocDx™ is creating enterprise software for hospital systems to track the diagnostic accuracy of their physicians. DocDx™ provides personalized feedback through monthly reports detailing a doctor’s accuracy across specific and general diagnostic categories. This allows targeting of continuing medical education programs to specific areas of deficiency, providing an evidence-based opportunity to improve the quality of healthcare delivery.

Eureka, Oxford
Nearly 2000 people die of cancer in the UK and USA every day and one in three of us will get cancer. We cannot stop cancer from occurring, but when it does, we can help in reducing the first figure. Our proposed novel imaging methods can offer ways of detecting cancer early, using non-invasive diagnostics. By detecting aggressive growth at an early stage, these cancer type-specific techniques can help save lives through early treatment.

FoetoH, Oxford
FoetoH is a robust, portable, fully automated technology that can be used by anyone, anytime & anywhere to monitor foetal health & prevent stillbirths. Using a novel combination of wireless ultrasound & sophisticated signal processing run on the user’s smartphone, FoetoH measures & interprets foetal signals according to clinical guidelines, displaying information on the baby’s current health status & prompting the user into action when necessary.

Geneix, London
The cost and deaths attributable to adverse drug reactions (ADR) are significant and costly consuming almost 2% of the NHS’s annual budget. Geneix is committed to reducing ADR by supporting prescribers in optimising their care and providing a personalised approach to medicine. Using genetic analysis and innovative software, Geneix helps healthcare professionals prescribe based on individual prescription history, and genetic profile.

GFL mimetics, Helsinki
Neurodegenerative disorders caused by progressive death of nerve cells affect many people impairing the quality of life and demanding high expenses from the society. No cure is currently available. Existing treatments are symptomatic and accompanied by side-effects. We want to utilize potential of neurotrophic factors – molecules that are able to support and regenerate neurons, to develop disease-modifying medication against neurodegeneration.

GlucoPal, London
Glucopal is the world’s first accurate and affordable non-invasive continuous glucose monitoring system for real time diabetes management. All diabetics can benefit from the system to effectively manage their condition, which consists of an on-ear wireless sensor device and an accompanying smart software platform (mobile app, website & cloud database).

Hackett Biologics, Cambridge
Advances in stem cell therapies are rapidly being made and many have the promise to assist in human health. One of the forward thinking issues that needs to be addressed is the storage and transport of these therapies. We have developed a storage and transport vehicle that does not require freezing, allows stem cells to maintain their surface markers defining a heterogeneous population, and greatly increases the viability of the cells.

Inifinipace, Oxford
Our idea is to develop ‘perpetual’ cardiac pacemakers, uniquely tailored to each patient, free from further medical intervention after implantation. The team proposes a novel approach to pacemaker design which combines patient specific, energy optimized software and novel algorithmic techniques to give rise to the next generation of everlasting implantable pacemakers.

Integrated Telemedical Solutions (ITS), Oxford
Telemedicine refers to information sharing in healthcare services. Despite its enormous potential benefits, there is currently a relatively low uptake of these services in Europe and Asia. ITS has developed a telemedicine service that meets the needs and expectations of physicians, while delivering patient safety, cost benefits and reducing administration. It also facilitates training juniors and auditing professional and managerial processes.

IV Prev, Cambridge
When a peripheral Intra-Venous or Urinary catheter is inserted into the body then site of puncture on skin becomes prone to bacterial infection. 250,000 cases of Catheter-associated Blood Stream Infections (BSI) occur annually in US hospitals. Attributable mortality is an estimated 12% – 25% and marginal cost is an estimated $25,000 per episode costing the US healthcare system $6.25 billion per year. IV Prev is our solution to reduce BSI.

LipoPep, Maternal and Fetal Health Research Centre (MFHRC), Manchester
LipoPep is a drug delivery system that takes existing drugs and targets them directly and selectively to the placenta, allowing treatment of placental abnormalities with minimal risk to mother or child. There are currently no available treatments for placental abnormalities which affect 10-15% of pregnancies worldwide and cause miscarriage, stillbirth, pre-eclampsia, fetal growth restriction and even maternal death.

Medibeta, Cambridge
Nearly half of diabetic patients are unable to attain glycaemic control, resulting in costly disease complications. This highlights challenges in adhering to conventional diabetes treatments, which burden patients with measuring blood sugar levels to estimate insulin doses. Medibeta proposes to simplify diabetes management with an artificial pancreas device which continuously senses glucose levels to automatically adjust insulin delivery.

Molecular Behaviour Analytics, Cambridge
Detailed analysis provider for pre-clinical drug development using cost-effective high-throughput behavioural analytics system.

MPDx Technologies, Cambridge
MPDx automated sample processing enables truly integrated ‘sample-to result’ diagnostics to be realised, taking diagnostic testing out of the lab into the point of care. Capable of accepting any complex clinical sample (eg. blood, tissue, stool), and processing via specific functions (eg. lyses, centrifugation), we can convert heterogeneous real world macro samples into homogeneous micro samples suitable for downstream biological detection.

NanoProSelect, London
Global demand for cheaper drugs, from both developed and developing countries, is driving the need for bioprocessing cost reduction. Most of this cost comes from chromatography reagents used in manufacturing. NanoProSelect offers a 10-fold productivity increase in purification over existing reagents and has a lower lifetime cost. Such cost reductions for biotech, CMO and biosimilar companies can help broaden patient access to expensive drugs.

Neural Electrode Coatings, Oxford
Neural electrodes are used to treat and monitor a wide variety of conditions (Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, etc.), but the implanted electrodes cause tissue reactions to occur that result in failure of the electrode interface and its therapeutic effects over time. We are developing biofunctional coatings that enhance therapeutic efficacy and duration of neural electrodes, which will greatly enhance next-generation neuromodulation therapies.

Patchr, London
We have developed a medical device for the subcutaneous delivery of drugs. It is micro-fabricated to penetrate the stratum corneum (outermost-layer of the skin) painlessly and deliver a wide range of drugs to the patient either autonomously or on demand. The device can be affixed to the skin as a patch and worn for a number of days controlling the type, quantity and delivery time of pharmaceuticals.

Picoto, Oxford
The cornerstone of healthy living is a healthy beginning. Yet 95% of the globe does not have this guarantee–vulnerable newborns begin their lives every day. Picoto is our solution for babies worldwide. It is a complete networked system of intelligent sensors that monitor neonatal health parameters–and empower actionable healthcare delivery to provide a neo-standard of care.

Point-of-care diagnostic for TB, Cambridge
Tuberculosis (TB) is the world’s second leading killer after HIV, causing 1.4m deaths in 2011. Reversal of TB incidence remains among the UN’s Millennium Development Goals, but developing world countries rely on highly inaccurate diagnostics. Using a novel biosensor, our research team is developing a low-cost, point-of-care device that will enable fast and accurate TB diagnosis in remote settings across the developing world.

Pym, Oxford
We will develop a mobile diagnostic platform based on digital holographic microscopy. This technology can identify, and differentiate between, complex 3D objects in a fluid sample. Our device would attach to a smartphone for imaging. It would record holograms of bodily fluids, then transmit them to the cloud for processing. Server-side software would enable rapid and cheap diagnoses via automated analysis of microscopic particles.

ShyDen Biotechnology, London
ShyDen biotechnology is innovating and advancing the next generation of antibody technology. The basis of its novel platform can be retro-fitted to existing antibodies, creating biobetters by adding value to existing, successful antibody based drugs, implemented as a standalone drug or diagnostic or even rescue failed therapeutic candidates by building in safety features.

Single-CTC Metabotyping, London
We seek to develop a Mass-Spectrometry method to isolate, detect and characterise Circulating Tumour Cells (CTCs). The single-cell format will address the diversity and low levels of metastatic CTCs. The use of profiling and multivariate statistics will provide answers based on hundreds of features simultaneously. Consequently, oncologists can use this method to make decisions on aggressiveness of treatment, and suitable diagnostic settings.

SmartNutri, Nottingham
SmartNutri uses interactive mobile technology to help you adapt good nutritional habits. By playing games, your eating styles are analysed and used to make informative suggestions about your dietary requirements or even how to modify your diet for specific medical needs to ensure all nutrients are obtained at optimal levels. SmartNutri empowers you to make smart nutritional choices anywhere, anytime, and reaps prolonged health benefits.

“Softneta” UAB
FormulaMarket (FM) is an online clinical decision support service sharing the algorithms for processing of the medical images (in DICOM). It is intended for the medical IT specialists, doctors and other specialists, who are working in a field of medical image processing. By using this platform users may test the algorithms on the characteristic images in FM database. FM allows the users to upload images/algorithms, and test selected algorithms.

Stevenage Intrabodies, Cambridge
We plan to develop a novel drug canditate to prevent the immune-tolerance induced by tumours. Current strategies to avoid immune suppression fail because of: 1. interconnected networks of immunosuppresive mechanisms by tumours 2. technical challenges to access transcription factors within cells. Our approach is based on novel intrabodies that specifically enter lymphocytes to inhibit FoxP3, a tumour-induced master regulator of immune suppression.

Tecrea, London
Kantaraja Chindera, PhD student at The Royal Veterinary College (RVC) based in London, has developed a novel, non-toxic, nanodelivery platform for intracellular delivery of different biopharmaceticals. Low toxicity, biodegradability and compatiblity with clincal use are unique features. This technology can be used as transfection reagent. Technology is compatible with clinical applications and and offers solution to antimcirobial resistance.

Vanguard Therapeutics, Cambridge
There is a growing concern that we are running out of effective antibiotic treatments against emerging multi-drug resistant bacterial infections . Vanguard therapeutics seeks to develop novel molecules that act as molecular switches to turn off the mechanisms of infection.

VenomAb, Copenhagen
Each year, 5M snakebites occur globally leading to >100.000 deaths. Current antivenins inflict severe side effects on snakebite victims, including permanent disabilities and death. VenomAb will develop antivenins based on monoclonal antibody tech, which has the benefits of: 1) limited side effects, 2) lower cost of production, 3) not requiring production animals, and 4) being purer. The global market for such is > USD 5 billion.

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  • ♔Daniel Perez

    Congratulations to all the semi-finalists. Can’t wait to meet you all!

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