Innovation Skåne

European success for Skåne startup

2018-12-19 | Innovation expertise


Gedea Biotech, from SmiLe Incubator in Lund, joined the EIT Health Catapult Competition 2018 for European startups in Biotech and also won the Public Award in the final. It gave 20000 Euro in prize money and access to international investors.

Annette Säfholm, CEO of Gedea Biotech is delighted with third place in this category and was very surprised that they were also named winner of the Public Award among the 12 finalists who pitched their business ideas on the big scene.

“It feels obvious that the public saw the potential in our business concept. As a winner in the Pulic Award category, we received as much attention as those who won the other categories.

Gedea Biotech develops a drug – pHyph, which is expected to treat and prevent both fungal infection and bacterial vaginosis at the same time. It replaces antibiotics and is considered to have a great potential in its area, as three out of four women will have at least one vaginal infection during their lifetime.

“We are waiting for the results of two clinical studies ending in March and then a CE marking and market launch,” says Annette.

EIT Health Catapult is aimed at startups in three categories: Biotech, Medtech and Digital Health. The withdrawals are via a written application, semifinals and a final. In connection with the semifinals, each startup gets a mentor that helps to sharpen both business concept and to pitch ahead of international investors.

“Investors were very familiar with our business concept and, in addition to being able to pitch well, we should be able to respond to risks with the business idea, clinical data, business model, strategy ahead and how the team is composed,” says Annette.

Annette recommends other startups to submit an application to the competition. In addition to the 20,000 Euro prize money won by Gedea Biotech, the competition has opened up the European market.

“We have received a large network of international investors after our involvement and are now discussing with some interesting partners ahead of a launch in Europe,” says Annette.

In this year’s final of EIT Health Catapult Biotech participated also Sinntaxis from SmiLe Inucbator, and for the semifinal Suturion, from LU Innovation in the category Medtech.

The closing date for the 2019 EIT Health Catapult Call is March 27th.

EIT Health is a high-quality European network with over 140 partners from industry, academia and healthcare providers in Europe. Region Skåne is a Core Partner since 2018, which gives companies with a relationship to Skåne Innovation Systems an opportunity to seek funding for international growth. Innovation Skåne is responsible for the program’s coordination and validates the company applications.

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Photo: Thomas Unt