BioInnovation Institute is increasing its focus on early-stage projects and start-ups in health tech by allocating up to DKK 70M yearly to this area. The commitment is part of a new strategy to help foster scientific-based innovations in health tech that usually requires considerable investments before reaching the market.
”The areas of digital medicine, advanced diagnostics and digital platforms will be our areas of focus. Despite the promises of digital technologies in healthcare and life sciences, the lack of solid clinical validation and limited customer adoption are still amongst the significant challenges and this is where we will invest”, says Markus Herrgård, Chief Technical Officer at BioInnovation Institute.
With the new commitment to health tech, Professor Anja Boisen from the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) will be the first to lead a group in this area in the BII Faculty. She has been awarded DKK 18M paid in three tranches over the coming three years to develop a miniaturized tabletop device that can perform therapeutic drug monitoring on a single drop of blood in a matter of minutes. The group will be working on a solution available at point of care without the need for specialized personnel and at a fraction of the currently available cost.
“The partnership with BII is truly unique. It is not only a large grant but also very valuable for us to work with experts in business development from such an early stage”, says Professor Anja Boisen, who has extensive experience in academia and commercialization.
She has worked with sensor development for more than 20 years and managed several larger national and international projects. Today, she is heading the IDUN center of Excellence and has co-founded four spinout companies from DTU. She has worked in industry collaborations with companies such as Grundfos, Virogates, Coloplast and Radiometer, and her students have won more than 15 Venture Prizes.
As part of the BII Faculty, Anja Boisen will establish a group at BioInnovation Institute lead by Senior Scientist Kinga Zor to work on the development of the device. Kinga Zor will be the daily manager of the project and in charge of the assay development.
“Advanced diagnostics is key in the development of our global health care system and Anja Boisen has proven herself for many years in academia and shown to have a great understanding of commercialization, which is key for BII. We are very pleased to see her in the BII Faculty”, says Markus Herrgård.
Her group will join BII on July 1 alongside the groups of DTU professor Morten Alexander Sommer and DTU scientific director and professor at the University of California, Berkeley, Jay Keasling, who have been working with BII since the beginning of 2020.
Read Markus Herrgård’s editorial on health tech.