MedTech, eHealth and diagnostics were the theme of Lund Life Science Summit 2019, which was attended by both investors and major companies with sales in the billions of SEK.
They met with seven startup companies on April 2 at an exclusive and informal meeting to share experiences and establish long-term relationships. SmiLe and LU Innovation arranged the meeting.
Lund Life Science Summit was held for the second year at SmiLe Incubator at Medicon Village in Lund, Sweden. Last year’s focus was on biotech and pharma.
The event included a panel discussion on the challenges faced by entrepreneurs, which was presented for 30 specially invited guests. One clear message from both industry and investors was that it is extremely important for startup companies to conduct a thorough market analysis at an early stage in order to make a product for which there is a need, and to attract investors and partners. They also agreed that digital health will be big, often in combination with the physical encounter. The message for entrepreneurs was to prioritize communication with the care providers who will actually be using the digital tools.
The panel consisted of representatives from major global medtech companies Arjo and Getinge, as well as health tech company Min Doktor. Private equity companies Aescuvest and Peppermint Venture Partners also attended, as did Ann-Christine Sundell, a Board of Directors pro based in Finland.
“Meetings that gather companies from a narrower field, rather than the entire field of life science, are important. Getting together in this type of context promotes collaboration among startup companies. We also need to have greater collaboration between the Nordic countries, since each country is so small,” says Ann-Christine Sundell.
Arjo conducts development in-house in medtech, eHealth and diagnostics and acquires innovations from startup companies. These startups should have advanced far enough to have a CE label for their products.
“It was an extremely interesting event, and I would like to meet more medtech companies from Medicon Village. Today I met a couple of companies that could be of interest for Arjo,” says Gang Zhang, VP segment marketing, Arjo.
Ebba Fåhraeus, CEO of SmiLe Incubator, comments on the day’s event:
“Lund has a strong position in pharma and biotech thanks to the heritage from AstraZeneca, but we see an increased inflow of new companies in medtech, diagnostics and eHealth, and Lund Life Science Summit provides an opportunity to establish a closer bond between industry in these segments and the innovation environment. It’s when people meet in person that things really start happening. Last year’s event culminated in many concrete results and we look forward to learning about this year’s outcome,” she says.
“It’s extremely rewarding for our startups to establish relationships with the invited guests from both the medtech industry and investors. The small format meeting is an effective way to do this. The panel discussions about both the regulatory and market-related challenges and requirements that companies must focus on from an early stage were excellent. I believe that LLSS will be a regular event for us and SmiLe,” says Johan Asklin, head of Life Science at LU Innovation, Lund University.
The moderator was Charlotte Bruun Piester, who has more than 25 years of experience from the life science industry. She has been involved in founding four companies and sits on the boards of directors for several life science companies.
The following startup companies attended the conference:
- Medotemic – eHealth company for more effective osteoarthritis treatment through continuous measurement via sensors in the smartphone
- Leuco3ena – eHealth company for diagnosis and treatment of allergy patients
- MedVasc – pain-free and simple anesthetic prior to varicose vein surgery
- SAGA Diagnostics – easily analyzes tumor DNA in blood samples (instead of tissue samples), which allows unique effective and customized cancer treatment
- Suturion – sewing machine for surgical incisions instead of suturing by hand
- Thyrolytics – developing a diagnostic test for thyroid hormones; no truly reliable test is currently available
- UmanSense – e-platform that can get stroke victims to the hospital faster
For more information about the conference, contact: Lina Olsen Boreson, phone +46 (0)703 78 12 79, email email@example.com
About SmiLe Incubator: SmiLe helps startup companies to develop and commercialize their ideas. There are currently about 20 companies in SmiLe, which together with alumni companies have attracted more than SEK 2,400 million in venture capital to date since 2014. SmiLe provides the companies with access to well-equipped labs and a large community. About 100 people with around 20 different nationalities, where 25 percent of CEOs are women, work at SmiLe Incubator, which receives basic funding from Region Skåne, Lund Municipality, Lund University and Medicon Village. www.smileincubator.life
About LU Innovation and LU Holding AB LU Innovation is Lund University’s combined unit for innovation, which works with researchers and students to bring benefit and growth to society. LU Innovation has two sections: one that is part of the public authority and the other is a holding company, LU Holding AB. The holding company can support and finance startup companies, but also won, manage and sell shares in companies that have their origin in research at Lund University. www.innovation.lu.se