A new wave of deep tech start-ups will receive accelerator grants and equity investments from the European Innovation Council (EIC). The European Commission selected 75 innovative start-ups after this year’s second EIC Accelerator cut-off. Among these are three EIT Health-supported start-ups that gained pan-EU exposure through our Catapult programme.
Methinks, winners of the EIT Health Catapult Digital Health category in 2020, Orixha, finalists in the Medtech category in 2021, and Arthex, Biotech finalists in 2021, are all set to receive EIC accelerator support. The companies were selected in a highly competitive process in which juries of experienced investors and entrepreneurs interviewed 232 out of more than 1000 applications.
The EIC Accelerator offers start-ups and SMEs grants of up to €2.5 million combined with equity investments through the EIC Fund ranging from €500,000 to €15 million. In addition to financial support, the start-ups will gain access to leading experts, corporates, investors, and ecosystem actors to help their businesses grow.
Methinks is a digital health start-up based in Barcelona, Spain, that aims to solve the challenge of stroke treatment timing through its AI medical imaging software. The software can triage stroke and unlock stroke treatment potential from non-contrast computed tomography (CT) scans. The EIC fund has granted them €2.5M and up to €15M of equity co-investment. They will use the funding to bring disruptive products to market in their pipeline and generate additional clinical evidence.
Founder and CEO Pau Rodríguez described how support from the Catapult programme was instrumental in their journey towards this funding: “Catapult gave us great visibility across Europe and useful insights to improve our pitch.”
Arthex, based in Valencia, Spain, develop investigational tissue-specific drugs to meet the challenges of treating rare and underserved diseases that have been considered “undruggable” and difficult-to-treat. For example, Myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1), which is a hereditary myotonic muscle disease with muscular dystrophy, lens opacity and hormonal disorder. The start-up has received €2.5M, and up to €11.5M as an equity investment. They will use the funding to initiate the clinical trial of Arthex’s lead candidate, ATX-01, in 2023.
Beatriz Llamusí, Founder and CEO, said: “We are delighted to receive this award at this critical stage in our FIGHT-DM1 project, which will support our programme in a real and substantive way. There is a great need for disease-modifying treatments for patients with DM1. Our preclinical programme has demonstrated promising results in a mouse model of the disease and cell lines from patients with DM1. Our toxicology programme has not identified any rate limiting toxicology, and we are gearing up for a first-in-human clinical trial of ATX-01 in DM1 next year.”
Orixha is a Medtech start-up based in Lyon and Paris, France, that aims to solve the challenge of post-cardiac arrest syndrome with their LuncoLive (lung conservative liquid ventilation) solution. They have been granted €2.5m and a €5m equity investment. Orixha will use the funding to validate the clinical benefit of Orixha’s Vent2Cool solution in post-cardiac arrest syndrome. They will also use the funding to optimise their liquid ventilation technology to explore other medical applications in critical care.
Founder and CEO Fabrice Paublant described how participating in Catapult helped them build their credibility and visibility through pan-European exposure: “The Catapult mentoring programme helped us fine-tune our message by emphasising the unique selling points and value proposition of our life-saving medical device solutions. Being selected as a Catapult finalist gave us the confidence to see big and to submit an impactful application to the EIC Accelerator programme.”