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Nine brave pitching companies showed their passion, shared their experiences and presented their business ideas before the jury and the audience at Malmömässan.
What a successful finale it has been for the three-year-long Microbiome Signature Project! More than 150 people participated in the Microbiome Pitch Day that took place at Malmömässan on 27 September, a pre-event to the Nordic Life Science Days 2022.
We saw nine excellent microbiome pitches presented before our prominent jury consisting of Claus Andersson, General Partner at Sunstone, Denise Kelly, Investment Advisor at Seventure Partners, Johan Christenson, Partner at HealthCap, Michel de Baar, Executive Director at MSD and Adriana Toma-Houel, Business Development and Strategic Partnerships Manager at EureKare.
Jury members, investors, pitching companies and all other participants highly appreciated the pleasant and relaxed atmosphere at the event and took the opportunity to make many new connections.
Congratulations to the two winners selected by the jury: BioGaia Pharma and MycoBiotix for their strong science, novel approach, experienced teams and clear business models, and to Gedea Biotech who received the most votes from the audience.
Keynote speaker Peter Bak, Managing Director at Boston-based Back Bay Life Science Advisors opened the event by talking about the investment state when it comes to microbiome research. More than two billion USD has been invested in microbiome companies since 2010. The funding is split between companies pursuing traditional bacteria-based approaches and non-bacteria-based technologies.
“There are four keys to our success: Ground-breaking technology, protection of the technology, teamwork and great investors to back you up.”
(Eric van der Helm, Vice President of Scientific Affairs, Bioinformatics & Automation, SNIPR Biome)
“During the pre-pandemic years the most advanced clinical programmes comprise gastrointestinal and infectious disease indications where the clinical data has been most robust.” he points out. “For the last three years, the focus has somewhat changed with an increased diversity of investments. I want to highlight two areas where we have seen a lot of interest and that is dermatology and women’s health.” says Bak.
Eric van der Helm, Vice President of Scientific Affairs, Bioinformatics & Automation at SNIPR Biome shared their journey and revealed the secret formula for the company. “There are four keys to our success: Ground-breaking technology, protection of the technology, teamwork and great investors to back you up.” he says.
Novel ideas were presented
The nine pitches included a lot of novel ideas. Ella Harris, CEO of Uvisa Health presented a small device to be used by women suffering from vaginitis. UV light is used to alter the microbiome. Alexandra Ellervik, CEO of Selcis BioPharma showed us a scalable technology platform to enable slow and targeted release of nutritional supplements to the microbiome in the colon. Hengameh Chloé Lauridsen, CEO of Gut in Balance has created both a Fecal Microbiota Transplantation product and a production unit to be used by hospitals for making the capsules themselves. CEO Lisa Tammi and her team at Mello are working on making micro-encapsulation of probiotics more effective.
Søren Møgelsvang founded MycoBiotix to treat ulcerative colitis and IBS with MCB-2, a Methylococcus Capsulatus Bath product, and prevent and treat SIBO and IBS with VLP-1, natural virus-like-particles. MCB-2 is licensed from the University of Oslo and developed in collaboration with the University of Copenhagen while VLP-1 is licensed from and developed in collaboration with the University of Berkeley and the University of New Mexico.
Johan Hartmann is CEO of Unseen Bio, a company that offers microbiome testing for consumers and suggests personalised diet recommendations including probiotic supplements. Ömer Özkan, CEO of Enbiosis Biotechnology explained how the company uses big data and AI to analyse the gut microbiome and offer personalised nutrition plans, prebiotics and probiotics.
Gedea BioTech’s Annette Säfholm, CEO and Helena Strevens, co-founder presented the vaginal tablet pHyph for treatment and prevention of bacterial vaginosis. Last but not least, Nigel Titford, CEO of BioGaia Pharma explained how they singled out two bacterial strains in their probiotic research. The first, BGP014 is used to treat adult mild-to-moderate ulcerative colitis. The second, BGP345A is used for chronic opioid-induced constipation.