Italy Tech Day 2021: Life Science innovators
Tuesday 25 May 2021
A unique opportunity for five young life-science excellences to network with a selected audience of the sector’s major players and with national and international investors.
After the successful 2020 edition, UniCredit renewed its appointment with Italy Tech Day, the networking event organised in collaboration with the law firm Orrick on 19 May. The key objective being: supporting the propellant boost of the 'younger, more technological' research and development processes in the Italian production system, particularlyin the life-science sector, by encouraging matches between investors and national and international corporate businesses and start-ups of the innovation ecosystem.
Five companies selected by UniCredit Start Lab had the opportunity to meet with leading international players and investors in the life sciences sector.
We asked their founders and representatives why they decided to innovate in the life sciences sector, and why Italy? Here are their answers.
Isabella Castiglioni, Co-Founder of Deep Trace, commented: " Italy is a world excellence in the Pharma sector, the leading pharmaceutical manufacturer in Europe, with a rapidly expanding MedTech industry and a constantly growing turnover with exports worth over 5 billion euros. Plus it is the most beautiful country in the world." Deep Trace is a company able to provide early diagnosis and predict the progression of Alzheimer cases, through an analysis of the human brain thanks to the use of Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive Computing tools.
After several years of experience in the US," recalled Marco De Vivo, Co-Founder of Iama Therapeutics, " Dr. Cancedda and I returned to Italy, approaching the Italian Institute of Technology, an avant-garde research center where we can use our skills (in chemistry and neuroscience) to discover new drugs dedicated to the central nervous system". Iama Therapeutics offers a solution for treating brain disorders through the development of first-class drugs. The company is testing a new drug that can significantly alleviate the learning and memory difficulties typical of patients with Down syndrome, as well as the more significant behavioral manifestations of the autism spectrum.
"We decided to start from Italy because our country offers a great scientific know-how," stressed Valentina Minozzi, CTO & Co-Founder of Prometheus, in her reply, "as well as an interesting potential in its universities which still is not valued enough. Our aim is to translate those competences into business giving a higher value to Life science entrepreneurship in Italy." Prometheus is a start-up which proposes Ematik, an innovative patented system for the creation of an autologous and customised medicine for veterinary use, in particular for the treatment of skin wounds. An extension of the product's use for the treatment of ulcers and wounds on the human epidermis is also underway.
"The excellences in Life Sciences both in the academic and industrial fields, as well as the strong business culture offered in Italy are unquestionable" said Federico Martello, Co-Founder and CEO of Tensive, "Our dream is to contribute to increasing this value and export it to international markets through our technology". Tensive is a biomedical company pioneering the development of innovative implants, based on biodegradable materials, for breast reconstruction and enhancement. The prosthesis allows cancer patients a natural breast reconstruction with tissue self-generation.
"We chose Italy for our project because the technology was originated from the Departement of Physics of the University of Milan and the application for diagnostics is developed in collaboration with top tier research and clinical oncology institutes in Milan. commented Daniele Scarinci, CEO of Tethis. "The environment is ideal thanks to access to biologists and engineers with high degrees of specialisation." Tethis is developing a unique approach to liquid biopsy for the diagnosis of solid tumors. The solution uses nanotechnology and digital imagery to innovatively manage the most critical pre-analytical steps involved in blood sample preparation.