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InterAx Biotech AG participated in a “business boosting” week in Boston, USA, in June, 2016. As part of venturelab’s international program, 10 high potential Swiss start-ups, including the spin-off from the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI), were selected to form the Life Sciences Venture Leaders Team. InterAx creates biosensors that will provide precise functional information on drug action. The company thus allows the discovery of functionally selective drugs with improved efficacy and reduced side effects for the largest class of human receptors (GPCRs). It operates at PARK INNOVAARE.
When it comes to innovation and entrepreneurship, the Boston area is today the most flourishing hub in life sciences in the US and probably worldwide. Its unique entrepreneurial spirit, the concentration of high-tech companies, the access to venture capital and the presence of world-leading academia and University hospitals makes it the Silicon Valley for human health and the place to connect with. For a spin-off such as InterAx Biotech the possibility to expose it-self in such an environment was an inspiring and enrichening experience.
To the spin-off from the Paul Scherrer Institute, the journey offered an accelerated learning curve and a lot of networking opportunities, all organized by swissnex Boston. “It was a very intensive week, but it was the most optimal use of time one could imagine. We were pitching literally day and night”, says Dr. Martin Ostermaier, the CEO and co-founder of InterAx Biotech. The Swiss team met venture capital funds, among which were Johnson & Johnson Innovation, Novartis Venture Fund, Flagship Ventures and Sanofi-Genzyme Bioventures. They had site visits and workshops at Ernst & Young, Foley, Microline, Biogen, just to name a few.
Among others, InterAx Biotech had an opportunity to discuss with Robert S. (Bob) Langer, renowned MIT professor of chemical and bio-medical engineering, confirming the potential of InterAx biosensors for discovering cures in the field of oncology. The last highlight was the pitching event of Swiss against US start-ups on a boat with more than 200 attendants on the Boston bay with a beautiful skyline sunset.
In the meantime, time didn’t stand still in Switzerland for InterAx Biotech. At the leading Swiss-wide start-up competition >>venture>> 2016, the company was awarded with the 6th place (out of 116) in the business plan competition. Besides that, during a rainy weekend, Dr. Aurélien Rizk, the computer scientist and systems biologist of InterAx Biotech, landed 4th in a a computing challenge organized by MIT and Harvard with the goal to find better methods in personalized medicine.