JERUSALEM--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The 16th annual MIXiii Biomed 2017 Conference that ended today has positioned itself over the years as one of the leading global events in the biomedical sector, where the latest developments in health, medical devices and pharmaceuticals are presented to the world. The focal point of this year’s conference was Aging - longevity and quality of life; precision medicine and personalized diagnosis; the use of robotics and digital health solutions for the elderly population and in geriatric care, age-related diseases and more.
As they have every year, the Israel Innovation Authority sponsored the Startups Pavillion, presenting new and innovative technology originating from Israel in the life sciences. Forty-five leading startups presented their developments. Of those, 10 were selected as “BIOMED Startup of the Year” finalists by a team of panelists that included Aharon Aharon, CEO of the Israel Innovation Authority, Dr. Talia Ben-Neria, Head of the Life Sciences Department at the Israel Innovation Authority, Tzachi Schnarch, Deputy CEO of Technology and Director of the Technological Array at the Israel Innovation Authority, and Dr. Irit Yaniv from the Israel Advanced Technology Industries (IATI). The panelists judged the competitors on criteria such as creative thinking, offering solutions that meet the needs of geriatric patients and solving issues related to the aging process and elderly population.
This morning, CEO Aharon Aharon announced the three companies that won “BIOMED Startup of the Year” in three prevalent sectors of the life-science industry: medical devices, pharmaceuticals and digital healthcare.
In the medical devices category, the winner is E-Shunt, a company that developed a solution for people suffering from glaucoma, a disease that causes intraocular pressure to rise to the point where it can damage eyesight and even cause blindness. Using chemical engineering technology and synthetic biology, the company developed an implant that is intended to channel the pressure deeper into the eye socket, releasing the pressure on the optical nerve. The implant process is significantly short compared with existing glaucoma treatments and takes less than 10 minutes. The procedure is simple enough that in the future, ophthalmologists who are not glaucoma specialists can perform the procedure. The recovery process is minimal, and by the end of the process, the patient is free from dependence on medication, and the disease’s progress stops.
In the category of pharmaceuticals, Betalin Therapeutics is the winner. The company has made it its goal to supply efficient treatment to diabetics by implanting an artificial pancreas that can detect blood sugar levels on its own. The pancreas is prepared in a lab using cells from clean lung tissue, onto which healthy pancreatic cells from a donor are implanted. These cells regenerate the body’s internal insulin producing capability in accordance with the sugar level in the blood. The pancreas is implanted in a non-invasive surgical procedure, releasing diabetics from the need to constantly monitor their blood sugar levels.
Nutrino Health, another company that treats diabetes, won in the category of digital healthcare. Using developments from the world of big data, the company has developed a digital signature of food stuffs – “food print” – which is individualized for each person, and makes use of data collected from medical devices, wearables, activity sensors and other biological markers. According to this personal digital signature, and taking into account additional personal parameters, like allergies, food preferences and more, the system offers the patient menus and foods specially adapted to them – when eating at home and when eating out. For diabetics, the system helps understand how food affects the management of glucose levels in the blood and helps them live a healthier life with more variety in their diets.
Aharon Aharon, CEO of the Israel Innovation Authority said, “The Israel Innovation Authority is responsible for Israel’s innovation policy and its role is to nurture and develop one of this county’s natural resources: innovation. We do this by supporting leading areas where innovation takes place, such as in Israel’s biomed industry. For us, support and participation in the biomed conference, the biggest event of the Israeli life sciences industry, is one of the tools to realize the Authority’s vision of supporting Israel’s innovation ecosystem. We do this by joining leading satellite events that bring together all of the major players from the industry, both in Israel and abroad, helping the industry thrive. The Authority achieves this also through this Biomed startup competition, by supporting innovative life-science companies during the conference and exposing them to the conference participants. We congratulate the competition winners and are certain that all companies that exhibited at our booth will push the Israeli life science industry forward.”
Ruti Alon, CEO and Founder of Medstrada and Co-Chairperson of MIXiii Biomed, said: “The startup competition of the MIXiii Biomed 2017 serves, this year for the 16th time, as a springboard for companies seeking to break into commercial markets and to gain exposure among each other in the hope that collaborative efforts may create solutions for the benefit of humanity, with a focus this year on the aging population.”