Companies and researchers at Medicon Village enjoyed a strong 2018. A stream of funding, attention and awards heading in the direction of the entrepreneurs and researchers almost seemed to have a snowballing effect – and below we put some of the success stories back into the limelight. All are a sign of quality, trust and faith from solid organisations and investors.
4th Medicon Village company joined Swedish top 10 list of Horizon 2020 SME Instrument Phase 2 grants
CombiGene was the fifth Medicon Village company to get the SME Instrument Phase 2 and they got the third biggest grant among Swedish applicants in 2018. CombiGene is in good company with Immunovia, who since 2015 still ranks number one on the list of Swedish companies with funding from SME Instrument Phase 2. In addition, Immunovia ranks number seven in the EU. Along with Idogen and SenzaGen, the top four Medicon Village companies on the list have received close to 12.9 million Euro. A fifth Medicon Village company, Clinical Laserthermia Systems, ranks number 16 of the 51 Swedish applicants.
The SME Instrument Phase 2 is a funding included in Horizon 2020. Horizon 2020 is the biggest EU Research and Innovation program ever with nearly €80 billion of funding available over 7 years (2014 to 2020). It´s a sign of quality for game changing projects aiming to secure the global competitiveness. Yet another Medicon Village company, GAEU Consulting, supported with writing the applications for the five companies.
Projects and findings passed the gate keepers at top ranked scientific journals
Neuroscientist Bengt Ljungquist reached a new peak in his career when his scientific paper was accepted in Neuroinformatics – a peer reviewed scientific journal. The work done at Lund university Neuronano Research Center, seated at Medicon Village, describes how to manage recordings from more than one million neurons in real time. To top this, the paper also shows that the recordings allow an extremely fast analysis of the brain´s signalling patterns, making it suitable for scientific and clinical applications. This is important when tapping into the brain trying to decode the signals and gain understanding of for example pain or epilepsy.
Cancer researcher Kristian Pietras, also published in a high ranked scientific journal. His findings show for the first time that two of the three connective tissue cells identified, lead to a worse prognosis for breast cancer. The findings may lead to new cancer treatments, as scientists increasingly gain knowledge on the workings of cancer and how the tumour cells communicate with surrounding connective tissue.
Additionally, game changing innovations from companies were in the limelight. The Scientist Magazine ranked AcouSort´s system to wash and separate cells on their Top 10 Innovations of 2018. And Nature, one of the world´s leading scientific journal, highlighted CombiGene´s possibilities to use gene therapy as treatment for epilepsy.
Promising contributions called for big wins and awards
International - Gamechanger of the Year. That´s the name of the award Bobby Deal at Global Regulatory Services Limited earned from ACQ Global Awards. For the second year in a row. Part of the definition for a Gamechanger reads: “Gamechangers impact how the game is played from one objective and ruling model to a completely new vision – changing the face of how we know something”.
Another quality recognition came from the prestigious international journal within environmental toxicology (EHP). The division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine at Lund University moved to new and modern facilities at Medicon Village in 2018, improving both working environment and infrastructure. Now, EHP ranked their masspectrometry lab as one of the strongest in Europe. The lab is active within different areas and investigate for example ground water pollution after the Swedish´s army´s fire drills.
Also, the SmiLe company Gedea Biotech had reason to celebrate in 2018 – many times. First place in a pitching contest at NLSDays, the largest Nordic partnering conference in life science. Third place in the European finals of the EIT European health catapult, an EU contest identifying the best health innovations. A grant from Horizon 2020. To name a few.
The SmiLe companies Akuru Pharma and Sinntaxis joined Gedea Biotech in their celebrations, as these companies advanced in some of the same categories. SmiLe incubator is seated at Medicon Village and has a strong track record in supporting life science start-ups to develop and commercialize their ideas.
Lastly, ImmuneBiotech´s CEO, Sharhram Lavasani, walked away as winner of the best pitch in Medicon Village Entrepreneur Slam 2018. The competition was fierce and his pitch convincing.
Exercise and collaboration boosted momentum
To round it all off – companies also share good advice. Securitas, Caramba Syd and Beta Office shared advice on how to promote good health or save lives. Accountor shared advice on what companies may consider when giving gifts. These initiatives reflect well on the atmosphere at Medicon Village, where people also meet by the coffee machine to chat and share ideas.
The meeting and innovation platform provides a strong foundation for continued growth in 2019. And the trends that propelled the strong results in 2018 are still in place and improving, like the closeness and availability of talent. We therefore look forward to welcome hundreds of new neighbours, as they move into the new house in the Village – as we call it.
By Tanja Jensen, science writer