EIT Health invests €3M in cancer and Parkinson’s

Note: This article was originally written and published by EIT Health. To see the original article, please click the link here.

EIT Health has announced their support for two innovator teams following the 2020 Wild Card programme, selecting MiMARK and Orbit Health.

The two teams, from Spain and Germany respectively, will be supported by EIT Health over two years with up to 1.5 million euros each. In addition to the financial support, EIT Health offers expert mentoring and coaching and access to its vast network across Europe to the newly formed teams.

Now in its fourth year, the EIT Health Wild Card programme builds game-changing life science companies to break new ground in health by challenging the status quo in areas of high unmet need. Beginning with two challenges set by EIT Health, the annual Wild Card programme invites talented innovators from across Europe to respond with their ideas. Successful applicants start their journey with a hackathon; putting them through their paces on everything from team formation, critical thinking, business model validation and pitching. Finally, participants pitch their solution to a panel of industry leaders to secure a spot in the finals, at which point they pitch for EIT Health investment to incorporate their company and bring their solution to market.

“In consultation with industry experts, we selected women’s health and digital therapeutics as areas in need of innovation and with potential to improve the lives of patients and citizens across Europe and beyond. The talent that we saw during last year’s Wild Card programme is unparalleled, and we are thrilled to have now selected MiMARK and Orbit Health to join the EIT Health family and help us address some of the toughest health challenges that continue to affect millions of people every day,” said Jorge Juan Fernández García, Director of Innovation, EIT Health. “We look forward to supporting them at every step of their journey and working together to bring new solutions that can change lives,” he continued.

About the teams selected

MiMARK, a team of five, hailing from Barcelona, Spain will focus on improving the accuracy and efficiency of diagnostics for endometrial cancer, which is the sixth most commonly occurring cancer in women[1].  As with many cancers, early and accurate detection of the disease is linked to increased survival, however currently around a third of endometrial cancer patients are diagnosed at the advanced stage [2]. By improving the technology available for the diagnosis of endometrial cancer, MiMARK hope to improve the speed and accuracy at which women can be diagnosed and effectively treated.

“With our solution, we hope to change the standard of care for endometrial cancer by providing innovation in diagnostic technology at an early stage and without the need for invasive and uncomfortable procedures. The Wild Card programme has been fundamental in accelerating our development, and we are grateful to EIT Health for their continued support in helping us on our journey towards making our idea a reality for patients,” said Eva Colás Ortega, Principal Researcher of the Biomedical Research Group in Gynaecology of the Vall Hebron Institute of Research, the Gynaecology Service of Hospital Vall d’Hebron, and co-founder of MiMARK.

Orbit Health from Munich, Germany will focus on developing an artificial intelligence solution to enable the effective personalisation of treatment for Parkinson’s disease. Parkinson’s is the most common neurodegenerative condition after Alzheimer’s, affecting an estimated 1.2 million in Europe alone [3].  A life-limiting and debilitating disease, Parkinson’s affects the ability to walk and talk, as well as being linked to mental health issues such as depression. By analysing the way in which each patient responds to their treatment using technology that can be integrated into clinical practice, clinicians can prescribe the optimal treatment regime to best control symptoms and improve the quality of life of patients with Parkinson’s disease.

“Parkinson’s is a complex disease, and every patient reacts to treatment differently. Our solution equips clinicians with reliable, continuous, and objective symptom insights that are easy to access to effectively personalise treatments for each patient. Our ultimate goal is to improve the quality of life for both the patients and their families and address the cost-efficiency of the healthcare system. In the future, our solution could even help guide treatment options for each individual patient. Wild Card was truly an enriching experience that accelerated our understanding of how our solution fits in the market, and we look forward to drawing on EIT Health’s support and influence to benefit more clinicians and patients,” said Patty Lee, CEO and co-founder of Orbit Health.

  1. World Cancer Research Fund. 2018. Endometrial Cancer Statistics. [online] Available at: wcrf.org/dietandcancer/cancer-trends/endometrial-cancer-statistics [Accessed 27 October 2020].
  2. Siegel RL et al., Ca Cancer J Clin, 2020
  3. eu.com. 2020. [online] Available at: www.epda.eu.com/media/1181/epda-consensus-statement-en.pdf [Accessed 27 October 2020].

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Enabling personalized care for chronic conditions