CAScination wins the Swiss Medtech Award 2019


At Swiss Medtech Day Bernese company CAScination was awarded the coveted industry prize, worth 50,000 francs. The jury was won over by their innovative microsurgical cochlear implantation procedure for people suffering from moderate hearing loss or deafness. The Wyss Zurich project Liver4Life was selected as winner of the Science Slam.


Ludwig van Beethoven - who was already deaf by the age of 27 - would be in the best possible hands with CAScination, the winner of the Swiss Medtech Award 2019. The University of Bern spin-off has developed a planning, navigation, and robotic ear surgery system that enables customised, highly accurate, and minimally invasive cochlear implants to be inserted into a patient's inner ear. “We were impressed by the high patient benefits, entrepreneurial spirit, and technological scope that the company has developed.” said jury chairman Prof Dr Mirko Meboldt, ETH Zurich, praising the winner in front of an enthusiastic audience. The coveted industry award, donated by the Lichtsteiner Foundation, the Straumann Group, and Ypsomed, was presented to Matthias Peterhans, Stefan Weber and Marco Matulic by Ypsomed CEO Simon Michel. "CAScination is a perfect example of how technical and clinical university research can be transferred into a commercially successful «Made in Switzerland» medical device." added a pleased Peter Biedermann, Managing Director of Swiss Medtech and host of the event - the most important Swiss medical technology event with over 600 attendees from Switzerland and abroad. Startups in the spotlightThe Science Slam was another highlight of the event. Eight teams – mostly start-ups and start-up projects selected by a jury from the 40 teams presenting posters at the event - competed for the audience award. The presenting teams included: Urodea (solution for patients sufffering from urinary retention), Aspivix (surgical instrument for gentler and more modern gynecological procedures), Artiria (medical device allowing surgeons to navigate in brain arteries faster and safer), Retinai (healthcare solutions to protect patients from vision loss using artificial intelligence), Coat-X (encapsulation for medical devices using an ultra-thin biocompatible multilayer coating technology), Corflow (diagnostic and therapeutic medical device for improving microvascular obstructions after a heart attack), Hystrix (marketplace for commodity-like Medtech products) and Liver4Life (perfusion machine for liver tissue). The audience chose Liver4Life as the winner of the Science Slam. The Wyss Zurich project aims to develop a novel therapeutic strategy for liver regeneration consisting of: i) surgical resection of a small healthy piece of the liver from the patient; ii) growth of this piece outside of the body in a perfusion machine until a sufficient size is reached; iii) retransplantation of the regenerated liver to the original patient while removing the remaining diseased part. Current perfusion systems are not able to keep a liver alive outside of the body for a sufficient time to allow growth and regeneration to occur. The challenging aim of the project is to extend the viability of liver tissue outside of the body up to five days and allow its growth. To this end, a perfusion machine will be developed, which will provide necessary nutrients and oxygen supply, and be equipped to monitor growth, as well as assess the functional capacity of the liver. In a first step the perfusion machine could be also use for transplantations of donor livers. The extended period outside the body could be used for assessing the liver in more detail. (Press release / SK)Picture: Swiss Medtech