BaseLaunch Accelerator KickOff

BaseLaunch’s second round – 10 projects enter Phase I

The BaseLaunch Accelerator, managed and operated by BaselArea.swiss, started on 14 September 2018 with ten projects entering Phase I. Over the next few months, the project teams will work with experts and advisers from various fields to define the next key R&D milestones to de-risk the science, to refine their business case, and to develop the company further.

In its second cycle, the deal flow for the BaseLaunch Accelerator was again of high quality. The submitted projects ranged from therapeutics and diagnostics to digital healthcare and more. The selection committee chose the most promising projects to enter Phase I of the Accelerator.

Overview of the selected projects

Avicenna Oncology: Avicenna Oncology GmbH is a biotechnology startup, created in 2014 in Basel, Switzerland. Their lead program consists of ImmunoPayloads (ImPs), First In Class immuno-oncology therapeutics with a unique and innovating mode of action.

Biotech in stealth mode: Discovery and development of new eye therapeutics for diseases with unmet medical need

Biotech in stealth mode: Developing a novel digital therapeutic for the treatment of migraine

Biotech in stealth mode: Developing novel cell engineering-based treatments.

CMET Pharmaceuticals: CMET Pharmaceuticals aims to develop novel therapies for the treatment of metastatic cancers, tailored to target circulating tumour cell clusters

Pattern Biosciences: Next generation programmable therapies powered by Synthetic Biology.

Epibloc: Epibloc applies a proprietary immunoprofiling platform to identify peptides that bind to specific autoantibodies involved in autoimmune diseases. The peptides are then used to develop companion diagnostics and precision drugs to eliminate only the disease causing autoantibodies.

SiBreax: SiBreaX develops stimulus responsive silicate-based nano-/microparticles for targeted drug/compound delivery and degradable, injectable nanocomposite hydrogels for biomedical and topical applications. Leveraging its platform technology of nano-/microparticles and hydrogels, SiBreaX partners in development as well as develops own drugs and medical hydrogels.

Cureab gmbh: Cureab develops antibodies for cancer therapy focussing on lung, liver and colorectal cancer.

SynEndoS Therapeutics: Developing a new medicine to treat anxiety and stress related disorders by modulating the activity of cannabinoid molecules already present in the human body.

The development stages of the projects

The development stages of the projects were just as varied. Some projects were submitted by entrepreneurs wishing to establish a company with the support of BaseLaunch. Other projects came from existing startups that had already successfully managed the initial rounds of financing and wanted to advance the company with the help of BaseLaunch. The founders of these companies and members of the project teams come from different professional backgrounds. Some of the applicants selected for Phase I gained many years of R&D experience in the industry; others applied straight out of university.

The diversity goes to show the unabated attractiveness of the BaseLaunch Accelerator. Neil Goldsmith, Director Strategy BaseLaunch: “A strong life sciences hub like Basel needs to maintain a dynamic startup scene with excellent quality. With BaseLaunch, we can add that value and provide a much sought-after boost for new ventures and corporations alike.”

 The Routine

The ten selected startups have four to six months to develop their business ideas, starting from September 14 2018. In this process, they are supported by the BaseLaunch team as well as by a number of experienced entrepreneurs and consultants. In this first phase, up to 10,000 Swiss francs will be available for each of the projects. The selection committee will then select about three of the Phase I projects to progress to Phase II. This phase lasts at least for 12 months, with each project receiving funding of up to 250,000 Swiss francs.

The selected projects in Phase II will also have access to the BaseLaunch Lab in the Switzerland Innovation Park Basel Area in Allschwil, where they are expected to achieve important research milestones and develop their business cases further.

About BaseLaunch

BaseLaunch has set itself the task of accelerating the development of promising and pioneering healthcare startups and strengthening the leadership position of the Basel region as the pre-eminent life sciences hub. The accelerator program offers funding, expertise, infrastructure and industry access to promising new ventures. It integrates new projects into one of the most dynamic biotech and pharma ecosystems in Europe. BaseLaunch enjoys the backing of the healthcare partners Johnson & Johnson Innovation, Novartis Venture Fund, Pfizer, Roche and Roivant Sciences as well as of other public and private partners. Projects are reviewed by a selection committee which includes the following members: Dr. Julian Bertschinger, VP, Head Therapeutic Platform Innovation at Janssen R&D and Managing Director of Covagen, Dr. Phillipe Dro, CEO, NeMoDevices, Trudi Haemmerli, CEO and Director, PerioC Ltd, Managing Director, TruStep Consulting GmbH, Dr. Anja König, Global Head Novartis Venture Fund, Dr. Alex Mayweg, Venture Partner, Versant Ventures, Dr. Nathalie ter Wengel MD, European Head External Science and Innovation, Pfizer, Dr. Jakob Busch-Petersen, Intrapreneur, External Innovation, Therapeutic Modalities, Roche and Sascha Bucher, VP and Head of Global Transactions, Roivant.

For more information, please visit: https://www.baselaunch.ch/portfolio/

Important dates

Start Phase II: January 2019

Application deadline for the third cycle of the BaseLaunch Accelerator: May 2019