EIT Health invests €3M in innovations for endometrial cancer and Parkinson's disease

The Wild Card open innovation programme has selected two innovator teams from Spain and Germany.
By Sara Mageit
09:50 am
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Wild Card, EIT

Credit: Wild Card programme winners

EU-backed health innovators, EIT Health today announced their support for two innovator teams following their 2020 Wild Card programme, selecting Spain-based MiMARK and German-based Orbit Health.

The two teams will be supported by EIT Health, which is backed by the EU as part of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology, for over two years with up to €1.5 million each.

In addition to the financial support, EIT Health offers mentoring and coaching, as well as access to its network across Europe.

WHY IT MATTERS

The EIT Health Wild Card programme builds life science companies to break new ground in health by challenging the status quo in areas of unmet need.

Beginning with two challenges set by EIT Health, the annual Wild Card programme invites innovators from across Europe to respond with their ideas. Successful participants pitch their solution to a panel of industry leaders to secure a spot in the finals, at which point they pitch for EIT Health investment to incorporate their company and bring their solution to market.

MiMARK, from Barcelona, Spain will focus on improving the accuracy and efficiency of diagnostics for endometrial cancer, which according to the World Cancer Research Fund, is the sixth most commonly occurring cancer in women. Early detection of the disease is linked to increased survival, however currently around a third of endometrial cancer patients are diagnosed at the advanced stage. By improving the technology available for the diagnosis of endometrial cancer, MiMARK aims to improve the speed and accuracy at which women can be diagnosed and treated.

Orbit Health from Munich, Germany will focus on developing an AI solution to enable the personalisation of treatment for Parkinson’s disease. Parkinson’s is the most common neurodegenerative condition after Alzheimer’s, affecting an estimated 1.2 million in Europe. The company analyses the way in which each patient responds to their treatment using technology that can be integrated into clinical practice. This enables clinicians to prescribe a treatment regime to best control symptoms and improve the quality of life of patients with Parkinson’s disease.

THE LARGER CONTEXT

In July 2020, the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) Health Wild Card programme brought together 45 participants to find solutions in areas of high unmet need within women’s health and digital therapeutics. 

ON THE RECORD

Jorge Juan Fernández García, director of innovation, EIT Health said: “In consultation with industry experts, we selected women’s health and digital therapeutics as areas in need of innovation and with potential to improve the lives of patients and citizens across Europe and beyond. The talent that we saw during last year’s Wild Card programme is unparalleled, and we are thrilled to have now selected MiMARK and Orbit Health to join the EIT Health family and help us address some of the toughest health challenges that continue to affect millions of people every day. We look forward to supporting them at every step of their journey and working together to bring new solutions that can change lives."

Eva Colás Ortega, principal researcher of the biomedical research group in gynaecology of the Vall Hebron Institute of Research, the Gynaecology Service of Hospital Vall d'Hebron, and co-founder of MiMARK said: “With our solution, we hope to change the standard of care for endometrial cancer by providing innovation in diagnostic technology at an early stage and without the need for invasive and uncomfortable procedures.”

Patty Lee, CEO and co-founder of Orbit Health said: “Parkinson’s is a complex disease, and every patient reacts to treatment differently. Our solution equips clinicians with reliable, continuous, and objective symptom insights that are easy to access to effectively personalise treatments for each patient. Our ultimate goal is to improve the quality of life for both the patients and their families and address the cost-efficiency of the healthcare system.” 

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