MUNICH--(BUSINESS WIRE)--An interdisciplinary jury of ten evaluated the applications by medical startups in the categories biotechnology, medical technology and digital health. The products and projects ranked among the top 3 received the “Most Innovative Product Award”. The discipline-specific awards were presented during the Pharma Trend Image & Innovation Awards, which took place on September 17, 2019, at the German Museum in Munich, this year marking the 20th award ceremony.
The jury assessed the submitted product and project applications based on criteria such as the benefit for the patients, the innovative content, efficiency in application and the transition to standard care. In 2019, the following companies received the “Most Innovative Product” award:
- BOCAhealth (digital health)
- Surge-on Medical (medical technology)
- AiCuris (biotechnology)
Digital health: BOCAhealth, the body fluids manager of the future
Body fluids disorders (dehydration or its opposite, chronic fluid retention) are a common and risky issue in many clinical situations, especially in heart failure, chronic kidney disease and elderly patients. It is estimated that every other patient is released from hospital with a hydration problem, and their 1-year mortality is up to 30%. Inside the hospital ward, the patients’ hydration status is checked through the inaccurate fluid balance (inflow of infusions – outflow of urine). At home the patients use weight scales that do not allow an accurate assessment of body water changes either. So far, there is no accurate, easy to use, digital and versatile solution for both hospital and home monitoring.
BOCAhealth is a portable bioimpedance device connected with a smartphone application that easily measures the patients’ hydration and nutrition status and estimates their cardiac output and systemic vascular resistance. The BOCAhealth software provides doctors with a real-time risk prediction score based on artificial intelligence to guide the infusion and medical therapy.
BOCAhealth is the first body fluid composition analyzer that combines portability, accuracy and a risk predictor score based on artificial intelligence. These benefits convinced the jury to grant BOCAhealth the award for the “Most Innovative Product”. The award was accepted by the CEO and founder Dr. Allesandro Faragli.
Medical technology: Surge-on Medical, Freedimensional surgical instruments to empower surgeons
Founded in 2015 in the Netherlands, Surge-on Medical has developed the next generation of minimally invasive surgical instruments. Through cable-free technologies, they have created freedimensional instruments that provide better access to surgical areas and replace current pre-bent instrumentation, while complying with current and future FDA and European regulation. Surge-on Medical has been granted four international patents which make minimally invasive instruments steerable, detachable and cleanable. The company is currently active in arthroscopy, laparoscopy and robotic surgery, but it is also preparing to expand to additional surgical fields to keep empowering surgeons. It aims to become the worldwide leader in the development of minimally invasive instruments.
The „Most Innovative Product“ award for the second place was accepted by Dr. Tim Horeman, CTO of Surge-on Medical.
Biotechnology: Letermovir (Prevymis®) by AiCuris
AiCuris has developed a new agent against the human cytomegalovirus (HCMV), which occurs around the world. More than half of the global population are chronically infected with the virus, but only patients with a weakened or lacking immune system are at risk of serious illness or even death. The new agent Letermovir inhibits an enzyme within the virus and thus prevents its spread without damaging the host cell. This allows very good tolerability, which for the first time enables prophylactic life-saving therapy.
Letermovir was initially developed, and has already been successfully applied, for HCMV prophylaxis in patients who have undergone stem cell and bone marrow transplantation. Following a successful phase 3, Letermovir was approved in the USA, Canada, Japan and other countries as part of a process of introducing the drug to the global market. In the future, Letermovir will also benefit organ transplant recipients, AIDS patients and new-borns. The drug has been available from German pharmacies since 2018 under the brand MSD brand name Prevymis®. It was very well received by the medical community and significantly exceeds revenue expectations in the first months of sales.
AiCuris was founded in 2006 as a spin-off from what was then Bayer’ research division on infectious diseases. Since then, the company has been researching and developing new drugs to treat virological and bacteriological conditions. In 2012, AiCuris was able to conclude a much-noticed license agreement with MSD concerning HCMV drugs.
Dr. Holger Zimmermann, CEO of AICuris, accepted the third-place award “The Most Innovative Product” on behalf of his company.
A successful jubilee ceremony
The patron to the jubilee awards ceremony was the Bavarian Permanent Secretary for Health, Melanie Huml. Around 140 invited decision-makers from the pharmaceuticals industry and health care communications agencies attended the event. Keynote speakers were Dr. Peter-Andreas Löschmann, board member of Bio Deutschland (the German biotechnology industry association), and Dr. Thomas Rodenhausen, board member of Harris Interactive AG. The host for the night was Tamara Sedmak, who regularly presents on TV channels including Sat 1, n-tv and N24.