Bayer welcomes new digital health talents in 2017 Grants4Apps® Accelerator program in Berlin
Bayer fosters digital innovation in healthcare and supports start-up companies with its Grants4Apps (G4A) Accelerator programme in Berlin.
With the support of Bayer, four digital health startups from around the globe will advance their business concepts and strategies for innovative software, hardware, and technologies for the benefit of doctors and patients. The G4A Accelerator 2017 programme is part of Bayer’s commitment to open innovation with the aim to bring innovative solutions to patients.
The four digital health start-ups officially moved into the G4A Accelerator premises at the headquarters of the pharmaceutical division of Bayer in Berlin. Each of the start-up companies gets financial support of 50,000 Euro. They will advance their digital health projects in areas such as medical adherence, endometriosis, atrial fibrillation, deep vein thrombosis and ultrasound diagnostics until late November. Bayer senior managers and external experts will mentor and support the start-ups in further developing their business models and products during that time.
“We recognise the huge creative potential outside of Bayer and we believe that combining expertise is key to innovation and success,” said Reinhard Franzen, Head of Bayer Pharmaceuticals Commercial Operations Europe, Middle East and Africa. “The Grants4Apps Accelerator offers new partnership opportunities in the digital health area with its vibrant development in the past years. We are very excited to welcome the four new start-ups for 2017!”
Bayer received more than 450 digital health-related applications from 61 countries to participate in the Grants4Apps Accelerator 2017 programme. Applications from the USA, Germany, Brazil and UK were extremely strong this year. Europe remained the strongest regional contributor, but there were also many applications from Asia, particularly from India. As a new G4A element, Bayer introduced the Dealmaker program, which aims at the facilitation of partnerships between innovative solution providers and Bayer. Major criterion for this year’s jury was the potential for future collaboration. All 2017 Accelerator start-ups have been picked by a large cross-functional jury across the pharmaceutical division of Bayer.
The four digital health start-ups chosen for the G4A Accelerator 2017 programme come from three different countries and three continents: ThinkSono and aparito from the United Kingdom, Oratel Diagnostics llc from the United States of America, Sky Labs from South Korea. Oratel will additionally use the wet-lab facilities of the Berlin-based CoLaborator.
aparito is a London based company founded by Dr. Elin Haf Davies, who has over 20 years of clinical, academic and regulatory experience in drug development. The company offers a tech solution to transform the way that clinical trials are conducted; with the mission to positively impact all stakeholders involved in the drug development pathway, but primarily to improve the trial experience for patients by collecting objective meaningful patient data at home and in real-time, using both wearable devices and disease specific smart phone apps. When patients’ needs are well addressed the needs of all stakeholders are met. In the past, aparito has focused on orphan diseases (including oncology) and pediatrics, but has the potential to apply the technology to other therapeutic areas, e.g. cardio-respiratory. The company has been successful in securing five contracts in four different disease areas, from several leading pharmaceutical companies and research institutes.
About Oratel Diagnostics IIc
Oratel Diagnostics IIc is a New York based company combining a team with over 30 years of experience in bio-engineering, computation biology, and reproductive epidemiology. The company is designing a sensitive and specific non-invasive test to detect endometriosis to decrease health care costs and improve the health and wellbeing of girls and women with the disease. Endometriosis affects over 10 percent of girls and women of reproductive age globally, who are likely to experience severe pelvic pain and infertility. The average time from symptom onset to diagnosis is seven years, due in part to the need for surgical visualisation to confirm endometriosis. Oratel Diagnostics is focusing on affecting this delay. Protected by four issued patents, the G4A project will help them solidify this novel technology to meet market needs and regulatory requirements.
About Sky Labs
Sky Labs is a team of electrical and biomedical engineers and software developers supported by the National University Hospital Seoul for clinical studies. They are developing a ring-type device for accurate diagnosis and customized management of atrial fibrillation (AF), called CART (Cardio Tracker). Atrial fibrillation is a chronic disease that affects one out of four people in their 40s or older, and may cause a stroke from which more than half of the patients die. CART can provide users with continuous AF detection and personalized care guides by simply wearing it on their finger. It is expected that early diagnosis of AF in daily life will contribute greatly to prevention of serious stroke. Sky Labs is currently conducting clinical trials with the Seoul National University Hospital to verify the device's performance and is analysing clinical data on heart disease.
ThinkSono is a London based company that creates software to diagnose deep vein thrombosis (DVT). DVT kills more than 800,000 people every year. This is more than breast cancer, prostate cancer, AIDS and car accidents combined. Right now, the only way to diagnose DVT is carrying out an ultrasound exam by a radiologist. This limits diagnosis to an expensive and long-winded hospital setting. ThinkSono leverages deep neural networks and portable ultrasound scanners, allowing any healthcare professional to diagnose DVT at the point of care. Backed by a team of leading clinicians, engineers and investors from Berlin and London, ThinkSono aims to be the leading platform for ultrasound analysis and diagnosis of vascular diseases.
About the Bayer Grants4Apps Accelerator
Grants4Apps (G4A) is a web-based crowdsourcing initiative, launched in 2013. It provides financial support to developers and start-ups for their software, hardware and technology projects which contribute to improve health outcomes or pharmaceutical processes. The crowdsourcing programme was expanded with the Accelerator as a new model of open innovation in the digital health field in 2014. The G4A Accelerator offers dedicated office space for up to 5 digital health start-ups with concepts for innovative technology solutions to healthcare problems at the headquarters of the company’s pharmaceutical division in Berlin, and supports them in further advancing their products and business models. Each start-up receives 50,000 Euro as financial support. They stay on the G4A Accelerator premises for about 100 days. During that time, the start-ups are coached by experienced Bayer senior managers, in addition to intensive mentoring by external entrepreneurs. Thereby, the Accelerator creates an ideal environment in which to advance cutting-edge technologies in healthcare and underlines Bayer’s engagement in collaboration with young entrepreneurs.
About Open Innovation at Bayer
Bayer recognises the creative potential outside of Bayer and believes that combining expertise is the key to innovation and success. Complementing internal capabilities by establishing relationships with excellent partners from science and industry is an essential element of the company’s innovation strategy. Bayer also embraces new approaches of open innovation with partners from academic and start-up environments to leverage the fast-increasing knowledge.
With the web-based crowdsourcing initiatives called Grants4Apps®, Grants4Indications® Grants4Targets®, Grants4Tech® and PartnerYourAntibodies®, Bayer offers grants for scientists from universities, academic research institutes, and start-up companies or health information technology developers in the human health business to support specific projects.
With its global research incubator concept called “CoLaborator”, the company offers young life sciences companies access to Bayer expertise and the global research network, in addition to the ready to use laboratory and office infrastructure in the immediate vicinity of the company’s own research facilities in San Francisco and Berlin.
Furthermore, in pre-competitive collaboration models such as the Innovative Medicine Innitiative (IMI), Bayer joins forces with partners from academia and the industry but also patient organisations and regulatory authorities to advance fundamental research and develop platform technologies to broaden the foundation for future research and fuel the momentum of medical innovation.
Bayer: Science For A Better Life
Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the Life Science fields of health care and agriculture. Its products and services are designed to benefit people and improve their quality of life. At the same time, the Group aims to create value through innovation, growth and high earning power. Bayer is committed to the principles of sustainable development and to its social and ethical responsibilities as a corporate citizen. In fiscal 2016, the Group employed around 115,200 people and had sales of EUR 46.8 billion. Capital expenditures amounted to EUR 2.6 billion, R&D expenses to EUR 4.7 billion. These figures include those for the high-tech polymers business, which was floated on the stock market as an independent company named Covestro on October 6, 2015. For more information, go to www.bayer.com.
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Notes to Editors
Bayer: Science For A Better Life
Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the Life Science fields of health care and agriculture. Its products and services are designed to benefit people and improve their quality of life. At the same time, the Group aims to create value through innovation, growth and high earning power. Bayer is committed to the principles of sustainable development and to its social and ethical responsibilities as a corporate citizen. In fiscal 2016, the Group employed around 115,200 people and had sales of EUR 46.8 billion. Capital expenditures amounted to EUR 2.6 billion, R&D expenses to EUR 4.7 billion. These figures include those for the high-tech polymers business, which was floated on the stock market as an independent company named Covestro on October 6, 2015. For more information, go to http://www.bayer.com/.
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