DNAQuraCy, Dewi, naialabs and MagFlow awarded four grants from FIT

Dewi, DNAQuraCy, naialabs and MagFlow awarded four grants from FIT © 2023 EPFL

Dewi, DNAQuraCy, naialabs and MagFlow awarded four grants from FIT © 2023 EPFL

DNAQuraCy spun out of UNIL/CHUV and works on the next generation DNA sequencing tools. The three other projects are spin-offs from EPFL: Dewi anticipates anxiety attacks through neuroscience, naialabs allows at-home blood testing and MagFlow is miniaturizing microcatheters. The FIT-InnoTREK grant to DNAQuraCy and the three FIT-Innogrants to the EPFL-projects will help them further develop their prototypes and cover first expenses.

DNAQuraCy: next-generation DNA library preparation

Through close collaboration with UNIL and CHUV, the team developed a novel library quality control tool to analyse DNA fragments more accurately. The main innovation comes from the system to analyse the fragments' length and characterize them by their features. While current library quality control tools use gel electrophoresis, which can be difficult to use and not always correct, DNAQuraCy uses solid-state nanopore sensing technology instead. This allows the startup to improve the accuracy of its system and reduce costs related to sequencing.

The FIT selection committee has awarded an InnoTREK grant of CHF 100,000 to DNAQuraCy that will cover its first expenses and enable to develop a working prototype of the DNA library control tool.

Dewi prevents mental health events

Addressing an important societal issue, Dewi allows doctors specialised in mental health issues and their patients to move from a reactive to a proactive approach, thanks to neuroscience. Combining bio-marker data and advanced machine learning algorithms, the team behind Dewi managed to predict upcoming events such as anxiety attacks.
Through a wearable device analysing heart variability, sleep patterns and other elements, the device can prevent the user before a bad mental health event happens.

The FIT selection committee has awarded Dewi a CHF 100’000 Innogrant to further develop its predictive algorithms and finalize a working prototype, all in the EPFL labs.

naialabs: easy blood testing for everyone, everywhere

naialabs has miniaturized the technology needed for blood testing. At the naialabs laboratory, a blood microsample self-collected at home using a simple finger prick will be sufficient for measurement of important biomarkers associated with common health concerns, bringing comfort and convenience to users.

With the CHF 100,000 Innogrant awarded by the FIT selection committee, naialabs will cover its first expenses and strongly invest in R&D.

MagFlow developed a futuristic microcatheter

Accessing arteries can be extremely challenging, especially in tortuous places like the brain. According to clinicians, safely accessing arteries smaller than 0.5mm is technically impossible. But MagFlow's solution offers a new way of moving catheters around, allowing them to reach 0.2mm arteries. This could potentially provide vascular access to the entire brain, a technique that could save lives in cases of haemorrhagic stokes or brain tumours, for example.

After having recently obtained positive results in its first in vivo test, MagFlow will now file various patents and further develop its prototype thanks to the CHF 100’000 Innogrant awarded by the FIT selection committee.