Venture Leaders 2019


The Venture Leaders – the members of the Swiss National Startup Team – have a clear-cut goal. They envision themselves as global players and want to take the first step to their global expansion. The Venture Leaders’ startup development program with swissnex Boston is specifically structured to help them achieve these goals. This intense journey offers 10 selected entrepreneurs an accelerated learning curve and a solid network through their exchanges with their peers in the team, as well as market exposure, feedback from investors and experts, and hands-on business development.


Life Sciences

Ten new startups have been selected for Venture Leaders Life Sciences 2019. Chosen from among the most-promising life sciences startups in Switzerland, the team will embark on a packed, week-long roadshow in Boston. Learn more about these exciting startups that will be joining us in Boston June 10 – 14 and pitching to alive audience at our Pitch Night event on June 12.


Pitch Night 2019: The Future of Health Tech

On June 12th we’re hosting Pitch Night 2019, where 10 of Switzerland’s most promising young Health Tech startups will pitch their ideas alongside their counterparts from North America, including some of the Boston area’s favorite early Life Sciences startups.

Our Pitch Night event is sold out but if you’re interested in learning more about any of the startups or are Innovation activities email Alicia Evangelist, Head of Innovation+.


Swiss Startups

4D Lifetec AG | Arne-Christian Faisst

Unreliable tumor detection leads to unspecific therapy. 4D Lifetec is developing a fast, cost-effective and more precise assay to help identify lung and prostate cancers earlier. The company’s liquid biopsy assay device is currently undergoing clinical testing.

Juvabis AG | Sven Hobbie | ETH Zurich

Drug-resistant bacteria are a threat to modern medicine. Juvabis, a joint startup of the ETH and University of Zurich, is preparing its new, small-molecule antibiotic for clinical trials in humans this year.

Medyria AG | Mauro Sette

Aneurysm repairs prevent bloated blood vessels from bursting dangerously. These vital interventions have harmful side-effects. Medyria’s sensor uses blood flow velocity to measure a catheter’s location, helping reduce the risk of spinal injuries during surgery.

Pattern BioSciences AG | Yaakov Benenson | ETH Zurich

Developing sophisticated drugs to increase the chance of effective cancer treatment by targeting combinations of molecules, instead of single molecules. The company’s lead candidate to treat liver cancer is in pre-clinical development.

Positrigo AG | Jannis Fischer | ETH Zurich

Alzheimer’s affects 50 million people worldwide. PET scanners can reveal proteins linked to the disease 20 years before the cognitive effects are noticeable. Positrigo’s scanner will reduce the cost tenfold, making precautionary scanning viable.

Resistell AG | Danuta Cichocka | EPF Lausanne

Developed a diagnostic device to identify the best antibiotic to treat a particular infection between 10- and 100-times faster. This reduces the cost of hospital infections and slows antibiotic resistance, by helping treat infection with the correct antibiotic first time.

Scailyte AG | Peter Nestorov | University of Basel

Single-cell analysis is tipped to become a key tool in biomedical research. Currently, the industry can’t extract all the data from highly complex single-cells. Scailyte is developing AI-based data analytics to boost research, drug discovery and precision diagnostics.

Synendos Therapeutics | Andrea Chicca | University of Bern

Developing drugs to treat post-traumatic stress disorder and other neuropsychiatric disorders by modulating a new target. Restores natural brain functioning by inhibiting endocannabinoid transport across cell membranes. An effective, breakthrough therapy.

TOLREMO Therapeutics AG | Stefanie Flückiger-Mangual | ETH Zurich

Cancer drugs often lose their effectiveness over time, which makes tumors that require continuing treatment difficult to manage. TOLREMO’s new molecules eradicate drug-resistant cancer cells at the start of therapy and can be combined with existing drugs.

Volumina Medical SA | Amélie Béduer | EPF Lausanne

Developed an injectable scaffolding that helps the body to rebuild after surgery. Enables the natural reconstruction of soft tissues, as well as glandular, connective and supporting tissues. The first product will serve women’s reconstructive therapy after a mastectomy.


North American Startups

Akanocure | Sherine Abdelmawla

Second generation small molecules (SGSM) have the affinities and protein-protein interactions of macromolecules while retaining the high tumor permeability of small molecules. Akanocure’s “Chiral Carbon Catalog” synthesis platform creates SGSM analogues that are scalable and less expensive, starting with a lead candidate for advanced ovarian cancer.

Limax Biosciences | Ben Freedman | Harvard iLabs

Strong, stretchy and flexible hydrogel adhesive platform to seal wounds and promote healing throughout the body. The technology is based on bio-inspired materials.

Myofinity Biosciences | Richard Horgan | Boston Children’s Hospital

Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy is a progressive genetic disease leading to muscle weakness and muscle loss. Myofinity’s lead technology is a recombinant human protein that has been shown to aid in the membrane resealing of disease model animals.

Kernal Biologics | Yusuf Erkul

Developing fully onco-selective and oncolytic messenger RNA therapies via deep learning algorithms, transcriptomics and proteomics datasets from cancer samples. Lead candidate Onco-333 is targeted toward AML.

Axonis | Joanna Stanicka

There are no effective therapies that can restore movement in paralyzed patients after spinal cord injury. Axonis is developing iPTEN, a breakthrough neuroregenerative gene therapy, which inhibits the PTEN protein. iPTEN treatment induces the severed nerve connections between the brain and spinal cord to regrow leading to function recovery in animal models. Through clinical trials, Axonis aims to bring this groundbreaking therapy to those in need.

Versatope | Christopher Locher

Versatope Therapeutics is developing a transformative and highly effective platform for improving cancer immunotherapy and vaccines with extracellular vesicles. They use nano-sized exosome-like vesicles derived from probiotic cell membranes and licensed from Cornell University.

Loro | Johae Song

Based in Boston, MA, Loro, co is an early-stage startup that is developing a smart companion robot for a wheelchair user named “Loro.” Loro empowers its users with increased independence and connectedness by enhancing their vision, communication, and safety.

Visionairy Health | Mortitz Graule

Visionairy Health is developing the first automated screening platform for radiological images that leverages a proprietary dataset and deep learning to differentiate between normal and abnormal chest x-rays.

Iterative Scopes | Jonathan Ng

Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States, despite being preventable by early detection. Iterative Scopes’ software provides real-time lesion detection and diagnostic support to doctors during and after endoscopic examination.

ActiPulse | Adrien Chatillon

Actipulse Neuroscience® is a neuro-tech company specialized in the clinical research, engineering and manufacturing of non-invasive technologies to treat Parkinson’s Disease and dementia. Their patent-pending devices use a proprietary neuromodulation technology that has been clinically proven to revert motor dysfunction, restore memory traits and decrease anxiety.


Our Pitch Night event is sold out but if you’re interested in learning more about any of the startups or are Innovation activities email Alicia Evangelist, Head of Innovation+.