ArcoScreen and DAAV get FIT boost

ArcoScreen provides a solution to simplify the identification of promising drugs and DAAV develops a wheelchair to facilitate the mobility of people with reduced mobility in places such as airports. Both start-ups received a Tech Seed loan of CHF 100’000 from the Foundation for Technological Innovation (FIT) to support their development.

ArcoScreen: identifying the effect of a drug on a patient primary cells in a few minutes

GPCRs (G protein-coupled receptors), which regulate multiple functions in humans, are the most effective drug targets for treating diseases such as cancer, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's.

The ArcoFlow technology by ArcoScreen revolutionises GPCR screening by identifying a drug’s mode of action (i.e., the effect of a drug inside a cell) in a single assay directly performed in-vitro on patient cells and not in standard cell cultures. Compared to conventional tests, this technology allows the identification of GPCR-activating molecules in just a few minutes by directly identifying the mode of action of the compound tested. The use of primary cells increases the predictability of clinical trial results by 50%. As a result, the earlier failure is identified, the less time is lost and the lower the costs.

The CHF 100’000 FIT loan will be used in combination with other fundings for the industrialization of their technology, through the generation of a first industrial prototype, its evaluation and ultimately the acquisition of their first customers.

DAAV brings freedom to people with reduced mobility

Over 400M people worldwide have a mobility impairment today, and this number is rising as the population ages. Every year, aviation companies spend a significant amount of money to provide services for people with reduced mobility and these services are all too often unsatisfactory for the passengers and costly for the companies. Top 10 European airports are spending more than CHF 100M on providing services for this group.

With its patented technology, DAAV offers people with reduced mobility the freedom to travel in the direction of their choice and provides them with a greater degree of freedom. Users can choose to drive the wheelchair manually, receive navigation information, be assisted in driving, or to let the wheelchair travel fully autonomously. DAAV's robotic wheelchair is lightweight and its automated system allows it to return to its storage area by itself. This mobility device improves the quality of movement for people with reduced mobility and reduces by half the cost for aviation companies such as airports and their ground handling providers.

The FIT loan will finance DAAV's market entry as well as test drives at Zurich airport and the recruitment of talents.

(Press release / ES)
Picture: ArcoScreen microfluidic plate (left) and DAAV wheelchair