A banner week for the life sciences sector

More than CHF 181 million was invested in Swiss start-ups this week, with Numab Therapeutics announcing the largest amount of CHF 100 million. And this was only one of the successes of the life sciences sector.

Dear reader

Numab Therapeutics is developing a new class of therapeutics for the treatment of severe diseases. The capital raised in its series C round, which attracted international and Swiss investors, will support the acceleration and expansion of the clinical development of its lead programme. Other significant investments were made in Swixx (EUR 45 million) and Haya Therapeutics (CHF 18 million). 

Biopôle is also taking a firm step in fostering early innovation in the life sciences sector. With a budget of approximately CHF 500,000, it has launched the Biopôle Start-up Fund to accelerate the development of solutions from start-ups established on campus.

In addition to raising funds, obtaining the required approvals from the relevant authorities can be a turning point in the development journey of these life sciences start-ups. This was the case for Lausanne-based Rheon Medical, which has received the FDA Breakthrough Device Designation for its eyeWatch, the world’s first adjustable glaucoma shunt to treat refractory glaucoma.

Medtech start-up AOT also had a breakthrough moment this week after almost 10 years of research and development. Its cold ablation robot-guided laser osteotome (CARLO), designed to perform all forms of osteotomy procedures, reached the first patient when the Paracelsus Clinic Munich performed the first operation with the technology. Seattle-based MicroSurgical Technology is another important first customer to capitalise on Swiss medtech. The company will integrate Optimo Medical’s simulation software tools for eye surgery planning into its system.

Start-ups from other fields are also on a fast track after receiving investment. Impact investor Yova, nexoya, which provides artificial intelligence-backed marketing tools, and careerLunch, with its matchmaking platform for job seekers and employers, are all looking ahead to a year of accelerated growth. SkySale, the company behind the leading online platform Apfelkiste, which already enjoys success with more than 250,000 products and eight million annual visitors, has attracted Invision as an investor. 

Supporters are also contributing to the development of the Swiss start-up ecosystem. Venture Kick awarded CustomSurg CHF 150,000, ESA Business Incubation Centre Switzerland selected its new cohort and Seif announced the 10 finalists that will compete for the category prizes at its award ceremony on 10 June.

Speaking of events, the registration for the Venture Leaders Mobile startup presentation schedule on 26 May and the ETH FemTech Summit on 26 and 27 May is still open.

The application phase for the next Swisscom Startup Challenge – this time dedicated to cybersecurity – has launched. The Open Innovation Challenge is seeking diabetes solutions until 30 June, and Kickstart has extended its registration deadline to 1 June. The next cut-off date for Gebert Rüf’s First Venture programme is 31 May. More awards awaiting applications are listed in our directory.

Have a good weekend

Ritah Ayebare Nyakato 
Duty Editor, Startupticker.ch