CHF 100’000 CHF awarded to Adiposs, and one more hope for cancer patients

FIT | 11 August 2020

Adiposs, a biotechnology start-up, has developed a revolutionary medical imaging product capable of detecting a serious syndrome affecting cancer patients: cachexia. The company has just received a CHF 100’000 Tech Seed loan from the Foundation for Technological Innovation (FIT).

In Switzerland, 41’700 new cases of cancer are detected each year, causing 16’900 deaths. While some forms of cancer are more aggressive than others, 25% of cancer patients actually die from another disease known as “cachexia”. Worldwide, 390 million patients with cancer and chronic diseases (COPD, HIV/AIDS, kidney disease, heart failure) are at risk. Cachexia, which causes the patient’s adipose tissue and muscles to waste, leading to extreme fatigue, loss of appetite and poor response to cancer treatments, was previously undetectable at an early stage. Adiposs, a biotech start-up spin-off from the University of Geneva, has developed an innovative medical imaging product called “ImageBAT” that can detect cachexia before the loss of weight and muscle wasting occur.

The company’s objective: making ImageBAT an essential diagnostic tool in the management of cancers, by improving not only the quality of life of affected patients, but also and above all their chances of survival. The diagnostic procedure with the contrast agent developed by the start-up is fast, painless, highly accurate and economical, as it can be made available in any hospital in the world.

“The ImageBAT scan shows the slightest change in the patient’s metabolism, particularly in the patient’s body fat, the first marker and indicator of cachexia, explains Andrej Babic, CEO and co-founder. Detecting cachexia as a silent killer will improve the results of cancer treatments, improving patients’ quality of life and prolonging their survival, while reducing healthcare costs.”

Adiposs was born under the impetus of three creative minds with backgrounds that are as rich as they are complementary. Andrej Babic, CEO and co-founder, has worked in the field of diagnostic imaging for more than 10 years. At his side, Nathalie Stransky von Heilkron, CSO, has more than 8 years of experience in the development of advanced nanotechnological pharmaceutical systems and medical imaging agents in academia and start-ups. Justyna Plewka, COO and co-founder, has more than 10 years of experience in business, finance and competitive intelligence.

Adiposs has already won numerous awards: finalist of the MassChallenge 2020, Swiss winner of the AIT India 2020, best project award at the Geneva Bio-innovation Days (2018) and winner of the Innovation Trophy of the University Hospitals of Geneva (2017). The project was also supported in particular by Fondation Eclosion in the amount of CHF 200’000 and Venture Kick via a convertible loan of CHF 150’000.

ImageBAT is now at the end of the pre-clinical development phase, with successful proof-of-concept studies completed in 2020. The phase I clinical trial is planned for 2021. With the FIT loan, the company will be able to finance final stages of pre-clinical development and partially finance the production of ImageBAT according to Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP).

Justyna Plewka
Co-founder and COO

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