07-Oct-2021 - BioRiver - Life Science im Rheinland e.V.

BioRiver selects three innovative therapeutic and diagnostic approaches as winners of the biotech start-up competition BioRiver Boost! 2021

The three winners are DNTOX, HBOX and PRAMOMOLECULAR

For the eighth time in a row the annual start-up competition for life science and biotech founders, BioRiver Boost!, honored the best start-up companies in the industry on October 1, 2021. Three winning teams were pleased with an award: DNTOX was awarded 1st place as the best start-up in 2021. The second and third places were given to HBOX from Aachen and PRAMOMOLECULAR from Berlin. At the successful hybrid event, the jury of experts assessed the Company’s business models after short presentations and a subsequent specialist discussion. As a prize, the three winning teams will receive a workshop on corporate development as well as marketing support tailored to the respective company as well as access to the BioRiver network.

Since 2014, the industry association BioRiver organizes BioRiver Boost!, the competition for life science founders. "I am very proud of this event, which shows a steadily increasing number of applicants and, on the one hand, offers start-ups their own platform to meet with experts from the industry and to get feedback on corporate development at an early stage," said Dr. Frauke Hangen, Managing Director of BioRiver e. V. “On the other hand, BioRiver Boost! gives representatives from the life science industry and investors the opportunity to get to know the people and ideas behind the start-ups and to support them with professional advice on their further corporate development."

What makes the BioRiver Boost! so special is the enormous commitment of the industry. Life science managers from a wide variety of companies and different areas bring their experience and know-how to the all year-round start-up dialogues, pitch trainings and into the jury. This year, the BioRiver Boost! jury consists of representatives from global life science groups including Bayer, Johnson & Johnson, Lonza, Miltenyi Biotec, Qiagen, and UCB Pharma, the Lead Discovery Center Dortmund, an incubator of scientific ideas, and the early-stage investors High-Tech Gründerfonds and NRW.BANK.

BioRiver Boost! is a competition addressing very young start-ups developing a product or service for the biotechnology and life science industry. The jury’s selection of the finalists is based on fixed criteria such as customer benefit, degree of innovation of the technology, importance and size of the target market as well as the experience of the team and the quality of the development and financial plan. In a two-stage process, a jury first selects the eight finalists out of the pool of applications. The finalists then need to present their projects and programs with industry experts in the form of an "elevator pitch".

The search for neurotoxic substances

The first price of the BioRiver Boost! 2021 was awarded to DNTOX from Düsseldorf. The cell biological laboratory is a spin-off of the IUF - Leibniz Research Institute for Environmental Medicine. The company examines substances and ingredients with respect to their developmental neurotoxic effects (DNT). The DNTOX founders Dr. Katharina Koch and Kristina Bartmann have accepted the award on-site at the event: “We are excited to have won the price and to have gained the trust of the jury in us and our product. We are now part of the BioRiver network and have won a coaching which will certainly support us in our mission to develop our idea and make DNTOX a success.”

With a mobile pressure chamber against carbon monoxide poisoning

The second price has been granted to HBOX from Aachen, a start-up developed out of the Institute of Applied Medical Engineering,at RWTH Aachen. The truly novel therapy system is a mobile, simple and effective pressure camber for blood of patients who have experienced carbon monoxide poisoning – for example due to domestic fire or incomplete combustion in fire places and faulty heating systems. HBOX co-founders Dr. Peter Schlanstein and Niklas Steuer had presented their project to the jury: “We are delighted to put our therapy against one of the most common causes of death through intoxication into practice. The competition at BioRiver Boost! was very strong – all the other start-ups have been very good as well.”

Silencing genes

Place 3 of BioRiver Boost! 2021 went to PRAMOMOLECULAR from Berlin. The young company has been founded at TU Berlin and works in gene silencing. It uses gene silencing to prevent the development of proteins which cause severe diseases in the lung and pancreas. Dr. Merle Fuchs, CEO of PRAMOMOLECULAR thanked for the award: “Not only have we met inspiring other Life Science start-ups at BioRiver Boost! but we also had the chance to discuss our concept with a highly professional jury. PRAMOMOLECULAR had the opportunity to network with potential pharma partners and by our host Miltenyi Biotec, we were shown how an established biotechnology company can emerge from a great business idea and a lot of commitment.”

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