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Using an app to combat skin conditions: Nia Health receives millions in funding

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Berlin, 15.5.2023 – Nia Health, a spin-off of Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin, offers digital solutions for the treatment and support of sufferers of chronic skin conditions. Its products include digital therapeutics, such as the leading atopic dermatitis app Nia, and technologies for monitoring patients and conducting clinical trials. The start-up has now received €3.5 million in a seed funding round. The lead investor is High-Tech Gründerfonds. The other investors were adesso ventures, Ventura BioMed Investors, the fund of pharmaceutical industry expert Dr. Kurt Schwarz, and other investors.

The fresh capital will be used for expansion: It is planned to expand the market share in German-speaking countries, launch in other EU countries in the next 24 months and prepare for the US market entry.

Furthermore, the funding will be used to further develop the innovative, AI-based technology that integrates machine vision, natural language processing and teledermatology. The company’s technology is currently being used in a total of five clinical studies, including one at the Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin to investigate the therapy-accompanying effectiveness of the Nia App – with success: “The Nia Health solution used in the randomised, controlled study shows positive effects on the patients’ quality of life,” emphasises Prof. Dr. med. Margitta Worm, allergist and immunologist at the Charité.

“The seed funding allows us to massively expand our AI and development capabilities to best address the individual needs of patients with chronic skin conditions,” says Oliver Welter, co-founder and CTO of Nia Health. “In addition, we benefit from the cross-sector expertise of our strong consortium of investors. With Ventura BioMed Investors, we have a partner with many years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry on board, while in parallel we can draw on adesso’s expertise to scale our IT landscape.”

Nia Health’s expertise in the area of real world evidence is particularly promising for the future. In contrast to clinical trials, the data shows how therapies are actually used. Pharmaceutical companies and other providers of therapeutic services can use this data to significantly improve care. The growing importance of real world evidence is reflected in Nia Health’s figures: last year alone, the start-up more than doubled its revenue compared to 2021. Its partners include Sanofi, Pfizer, LEO Pharma as well as large statutory health insurers such as the Kaufmännische Krankenkasse KKH or AOK PLUS.

“We have been following the development of Nia Health since its establishment and have been convinced by the venture’s capital-efficient growth in recent years. In the market for real world evidence, we see massive potential – especially in dermatology, where Nia Health addresses an acute gap in care,” says Niels Sharman, Investment Manager at High-Tech Gründerfonds.

Andreas Jenne, CEO of Ventura BioMed Investors, adds: “The founders of Nia Health excited me from the beginning. They understood how to cooperate with insurance companies and the industry at an early stage and thus generate significant revenues.”

About Nia Health

Nia Health is a spin-off of the Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin. The start-up develops a clinical diagnosis and therapy system for the continuous digital support of patients with chronic skin conditions. With its platform, Nia Health addresses an often highly underserved patient population and generates treatment-relevant real world evidence. With its innovative machine vision approach, Nia Health enables accurate documentation of disease and therapy progression and thus optimised treatment. The company works closely with German patient associations and leading clinicians and has already won reputable customers from the insurance and pharmaceutical industries. Amongst others, the Berlin-based company has developed the award-winning apps in the fields of atopic dermatitis (Nia) and psoriasis (Sorea), which were the first digital medical products of their kind to be approved worldwide. The digital medical solutions from Nia Health provide daily support for thousands of patients and their families.

A Strong Partnership Announcement – Trumpf Photonics

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Since the introduction of CGM more than 20 years ago, people with diabetes have searched for a more convenient solution to manage their disease. At RSP Systems, we are developing the world’s first non-invasive glucose monitor. We have recently entered into a collaboration with a global leader within the field of VCSEL laser technology, Trumpf Photonics, in order to further miniaturize our technology, ultimately into a wearable form factor.

Together, we are effectively working towards integrating our highly advanced non-invasive glucose monitoring technology with customized VCSEL lasers from Trumpf Photonics, and packaging this into a wearable. Trumpf Photonics’ expert knowledge on VCSEL lasers and their impressive miniaturizing laser technology, combined with RSP Systems’ knowledge within the field of non-invasive glucose monitoring, builds a solid foundation for a strong and meaningful collaboration for the future benefit of people with diabetes, worldwide.

The collaboration between RSP Systems and Trumpf Photonics is an idea fit that will lead to the first-ever clinically relevant wearable non-invasive glucose sensor – brining us one step closer to solving the impeding global health crisis.

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Navignostics raises CHF 7.5M in seed financing round to advance precision cancer medicine

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Zurich, Switzerland – November 9th, 2022  – Navignostics announced the closing of their seed financing round with an investment of CHF 7.5M. Bruker Invest AG led the oversubscribed round, joined by Think.Health Ventures, Ventura Biomed Investors, and the Zürcher Kantonalbank. Navignostics aims to guide targeted and immuno-oncology therapy selection tailored towards the individual cancer patient’s tumor phenotype, by using artificial intelligence (AI) driven software, coupled to single-cell resolved spatial proteomic tumor data. This proprietary approach will also help accelerate oncology drug development and enable the discovery of companion diagnostic biomarkers.

Navignostics is a spin-off company from Prof. Dr. Bernd Bodenmiller’s group at the University of Zürich and was founded in April 2022 by Jana Fischer, Stephane Chevrier, Andrea Jacobs and Bernd Bodenmiller. “With this seed financing, we will boost our capacity to engage with clinical, biotech and pharma partners and accelerate the development of our first diagnostic product. We will take a big step in Navignostics’ company expansion by moving our team into our own laboratory and office premises, enabling the establishment of certified processes and further expansion of our world-leading team of scientists and business professionals,” said Dr. Jana Fischer, Co-Founder and CEO of Navignostics.

Dr. Frank Laukien, CEO of Bruker Corporation and also co-chair of the AACR Cancer Evolution working group, commented: “I believe that high-plex spatial single-cell proteomics has enormous potential for precision oncology, and for research towards a better functional understanding of the tumor microenvironment (TME). Navignostics has the innovative and visionary founders and leadership team to advance and translate spatial single-cell proteomics into clinical use for the near-term benefit of the many cancer patients, who may benefit from meaningfully longer progression-free or overall survival. These novel precision medicine high-plex TME functional protein analysis strategies offer enormous opportunities for the future of onco-pathology and cancer tissue diagnostics.”

Dr. Florian Kainzinger, Managing Partner at Think.Health Ventures said “Our team was impressed with the clinical impact the methods used by Navignostics were able to demonstrate at such an early stage in their company development. Their approaches offer enormous potential to shape pioneering strategies for future cancer therapy.”

“I am excited to support Navignostics in our shared vision of leveraging spatial single-cell proteomics to advance precision cancer medicine,” said Dr. Andreas Jenne, CEO at Venture Biomed Investors. “The company has a promising combination of team, technology and expertise and I am looking forward to complementing the Navignostics team with my experience in bringing diagnostic products to the market.”

Marie-Line Bachmann, Investment Manager Start-up Finance at ZKB, commented: “Spatial single-cell proteomics have the potential to augment current genetics-based diagnostics by directly characterizing the proteins of the tumor and the surrounding cells. We strongly believe that the extraordinary team around Jana Fischer will bring personalized medicine to the next level.”


Navignostics is a spin-off company from the University of Zurich, founded in April 2022, which is leveraging spatial single-cell proteomics to perform advanced analyses of tumor samples. As a start–up active in the personalized medicine field, Navignostics strives to provide innovative solutions to identify the best possible treatment for each cancer patient. In addition, Navignostics provides advanced services to pharmaceutical companies to accelerate cancer drug development and to contribute to companion diagnostic development. 

Bruker Corporation
Bruker is enabling scientists to make breakthrough discoveries and develop new applications that improve the quality of human life. Bruker offers differentiated, high-value life science and diagnostics systems and solutions in preclinical imaging, clinical phenomics research, proteomics and multi-omics, spatial and single-cell biology, functional structural and condensate biology, as well as in clinical microbiology and molecular diagnostics. 

Think.Health Ventures 
Think.Health invests as a boutique risk-taker in healthcare ventures. We continuously seek innovations and disruptive business models in digital healthcare, medical technologies and health service providers. 

Ventura Biomed Investors 
Ventura BioMed Investors invests in early-stage life science companies developing pioneering technologies and innovative therapies. As serial entrepreneurs with many years of experience, we help shape the long-term development of our portfolio companies and provide them access to our broad investor and business network. Ventura supports exceptional entrepreneurs with their vision to accelerate medical breakthroughs that solve unmet patient needs. 

Zürcher Kantonalbank 
Zürcher Kantonalbank is a leading universal bank in the Zurich economic area with Swiss roots and international reach. It is an independent, incorporated public-law institution of the Canton of Zurich and has received top ratings from the rating agencies Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s and Fitch (AAA/Aaa). With more than 5,000 employees, Zürcher Kantonalbank offers its clients a comprehensive range of products and services. The bank’s core activities include financing businesses, asset and wealth management, trading, capital market transactions, deposits, payment transactions and the card business. Zürcher Kantonalbank provides clients and distribution partners with a comprehensive range of investment and retirement provision products and services. 

Kupando raises €13 million in Series A funding round

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Schönefeld/Berlin, 26. September 2022 – Kupando, a pioneering biopharmaceutical company developing TLR 4/7 agonists that stimulate innate immunity for use in oncology and infectious diseases, announces today the closing of its Series A funding round which raised €13 million.

The funds will be used to complete IND-enabling work and to initiate the clinical development of Kupando’s lead candidate KUP101 in a solid tumor indication. KUP101 is the only TLR 4/7 agonist in development, and consists of two small molecules, a TLR 4 agonist and a TLR 7 agonist, co-encapsulated in a liposomal formulation. The compounds induce a broad immune response, which will facilitate their development as an anti-tumor agent, as a stand-alone product, in combination with other anti-tumor modalities, or a prophylactic vaccine for infectious diseases. The induction of cross-reactive antibodies and a broad cellular response are promising features for a broad portfolio of indications, in particular where different strains and antigens play a role like influenza, HPV and others. A high target specificity in the absence of relevant off-targets are indicators for a promising safety profile.

The investment was led by Remiges Ventures and co-led by Life Care Partners with an additional investment by Brandenburg Kapital, High-Tech Gründerfonds, Ventura Biomed Investors and undisclosed family offices.

Kazuhiko Nonomura, PhD Principal at Remiges Ventures, the lead investor said: “We are impressed by the tremendous progress made by Kupando since its inception. Kupando is a real pioneer in the development of a novel innate immunity stimulator, and we look forward to working with the team and supporting the advancement of KUP101 into clinical development.”

Pierre Morgon, PharmD, LL.M, MBA, Chairman at Kupando commented: “We are welcoming all our new investors of this round. We thank them for their trust in this truly disruptive approach which has the potential to provide new therapeutic and prophylactic options in the fields of oncology and infectious diseases. We believe that the highly experienced management team will enable the company to progress through this next stage of development.”

Johanna Holldack, CEO at Kupando added: “Having new investors choosing to fund us is a great validation of our company strategy and pioneering approach, and we look forward to advancing our lead candidate towards clinical development thanks to their support. It is really exciting to now have the opportunity to develop compounds that can make a difference in the treatment of solid tumors and prevention of infectious diseases in terms of efficacy, safety and affordability.

The Kupando Board comprises of Pierre Morgon, PharmD, LL.M, MBA, as Chairman and Wolfram Nothaft, MD, as Deputy Chairman, and of three Board members: Kazuhiko Nonomura, PhD (representing Remiges Ventures), Gerhard Ries, PhD (representing LifeCare Partners) and Thomas Krause (representing Brandenburg Kapital).

SciRhom starts CMC development of its first drug candidate for clinical development

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Munich, Germany, April 11, 2022 – SciRhom GmbH announced today that it has nominated the anti-iRhom2 antibody it will advance into clinical development. For this antibody, the company has closed an agreement with a top-tier biopharmaceutical manufacturer for the CMC development. This first-in-class drug candidate has demonstrated outstanding preclinical efficacy in treating rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Having completed the comprehensive characterization of the molecule, SciRhom will now enter into IND-enabling activities.

“We are very pleased with the latest progress we have made towards bringing this promising therapeutic concept closer to the clinic,” says Chief Executive Officer Dr. Jens Ruhe. “Our research and development team did a fantastic job in delivering this excellent molecule. The nominated antibody fulfills all attributes for a successful pharmaceutical development. We expect our clinical candidate to outperform standard of care medications and become an attractive treatment option for patients suffering from debilitating diseases.” SciRhom’s drug candidate inhibits the cell surface-localized protein iRhom2, a critical regulator of the protease TACE (TNF-alpha-converting enzyme, ADAM17). By interfering with this complex, the anti-iRhom2 antibody allows the simultaneous blockade of several pro-inflammatory signaling pathways without impairing protective functions. The therapeutic relevance of SciRhom’s antibody may also extend beyond autoimmunity, as research evidence suggests potential benefits of iRhom2 inhibition for multiple therapeutic areas including inflammation, oncology, infectious and metabolic diseases.

About SciRhom GmbH

SciRhom GmbH, based in IZB Martinsried, Germany, is a biotech company that translates science into the preclinical and early clinical development of novel biopharmaceuticals for the treatment of life-threatening autoimmune diseases. Based on longstanding academic research conducted at Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) and a well-established network of experts, SciRhom was founded in 2016 through a collaboration between
academic and industry scientists with profound experience in antibody development. Since then, the company has developed first-in-class anti-iRhom2 antibodies and nominated a candidate for clinical studies. Four comprehensive patent families cover the company’s anti-iRhom2 antibodies and iRhom2-target epitopes, securing exclusivity and protection against me-too drugs. To date, SciRhom has successfully acquired seed funding from the High-Tech Gruenderfonds (HTGF), Hospital for Special Surgery, and other institutional and private investors.

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