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12th BioVaria brings academia and industry together

BioVaria Start-up Awards go to ISD Immunotech and

13 May 2019, Munich, Germany – The 12th BioVaria welcomed over 250 life-science innovators to Munich, including biopharma executives, investors, academic inventors, entrepreneurs and technology transfer experts. There were 67 peer-selected licensing opportunities on offer, originating from as many research institutes, universities and university hospitals from all over Europe. In addition, 17 start-ups were featured. Participants actively engaged in technology discussions, competitions and panels, and numerous one-on-ones were held to initiate collaborations.

The winners of this year’s ‘Startup Pitch & Partner Competition’ are ISD Immunotech, in the category ‘Emerging’, and, in the category ‘Rising’. They were selected by a jury of first-tier venture capitalists for their outstanding presentations, their promising technologies and their business concepts. ISD Immunotech, a spin-out from Aarhus University, Denmark, pursues a novel approach for the treatment of severe SLE (systemic lupus erythematosus), an autoimmune disease that so far lacks specific treatment options. develops a digital solution for monitoring individual biorhythms to help prevent mental health attacks. It holds strong potential to improve quality of life for millions of patients, while considerably reducing healthcare costs. ‘We are delighted to accept the Biovaria Emerging Startup award. It will help us attract the recognition and financing required to develop the first safe and effective therapy for lupus patients,’ said Tara Heitner, CEO of ISD. Pavel Nevický, co-founder of continued: ‘We are honoured to be chosen best Rising Startup at BioVaria, and the award strengthens our determination to apply digital diagnostic tools to the treatment of severe mental health disorders.’

This year’s panel brought together leading players from academia and industry to evaluate the current state and prospects of stem cell research and therapy. The panellists discussed the opportunities and particular challenges encountered in development and clinical use, and highlighted the technological progress that has been made over the last decade. The panel agreed that stem cell based approaches will impact the future of regenerative medicine and will ultimately find their place in clinical practice over the midterm – although many difficulties remain to be solved. Given the inherent complexity of the field, they suggested a cross-disciplinary approach with all stakeholders working hand-in-hand, right from the beginning.

New this year was a satellite event sponsored by ISAR Bioscience. Academic scientists with pioneering translational projects in the field of stem cell medicine were invited to present their work confidentially to seasoned experts and compete for the ISAR Biosciences award. The winner is Dr Sarah-Christin Staroßom from Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin. She was honoured for her groundbreaking research on remyelination, that aims to identify key regenerative factors, biomarkers and treatment options for demyelinating diseases, including multiple sclerosis. Her project receives EUR 2,000 and will be further evaluated for ISAR project recognition and funding.

BioVaria 2019 was organized by Ascenion, together with 14 additional technology transfer organizations from five European nations.

Save the date for next year’s BioVaria in Munich: 27 – 28 April 2020.

Some of the technologies and start-ups presented during BioVaria 2019 will be available soon at


Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs, Regional Development and Energy

BioM, Abbvie, Else Kröner-Fresenius-Stiftung, ISAR Bioscience, Johnson & Johnson Innovation, HERTIN & Partner, Kador & Partner, Vossius & Partner

Startup Sponsors:
24IP Law Group, Accelero Bioanalytics, Charles River, German Accelerator Life Sciences, IASON Consulting, LSI Life Science Inkubator, LSP, ttopstart, TVM Capital Life Science

Technology transfer partners:
Ascenion, Austria Wirtschaftsservice Gesellschaft, BayPAT, DKFZ - German Cancer Research Center, DZIF - German Center for Infection Research, EMBLEM Technology Transfer, IOCB Tech, Lead Discovery Center, LMU Munich, Max Planck Innovation, Netval, PROvendis, TechnologieAllianz, University of Pardubice, VIS

Network partners:
ASTP-Proton, BIO Deutschland, BioRN

Communication sponsors:
Business Wire, Going Public,, transkript


About BioVaria

BioVaria brings together Europe’s top scientists and technology transfer professionals with potential licensees and investors from the international biopharmaceutical industry.

Key features of BioVaria:

  • Unique gathering of Europe's top scientists, entrepreneurs, technology transfer professionals, investors and industry representatives
  • Presentation of more than 60 licensable technologies and startups originating from public research institutions and universities across Europe
  • Focus on patent-protected, commercially attractive opportunities covering therapeutics, diagnostics and research tools in the fields of cancer, infectious diseases, metabolism, autoimmune and neurodegenerative disorders, and in other disease areas
  • Interactive format combining 10-min oral presentations with an interactive exhibition and plenty of networking opportunities
  • Startup Pitch & Partner program with a competition for the BioVaria Startup Award, one-on-one mentoring and startup-investor speed dating
  • Panel discussion
  • Ample space to discuss scientific details face-to-face with the inventors and entrepreneurs
  • Jointly organized by Ascenion and a selected group of leading European technology transfer organizations


Further information and technologies:


About Ascenion

Ascenion is an independent technology transfer company focussing on the life sciences. It is partner to over 30 research organizations, universities and university hospitals in Germany and Europe, including life-science institutes of the Helmholtz and Leibniz Associations, the Charité, the Hannover Medical School, the Medical University of Innsbruck and the University Medical Center Göttingen. Ascenion’s multidisciplinary, industry-experienced team works closely with its partners to tap the potential of their research by identifying promising results, obtaining patent protection, and turning pure science into applied technology. Particular strengths are spin-off support and project development, where early-stage projects are transformed into assets that attract potential investors and licensees. This has led to the founding of numerous new companies and the transfer of innovative medical approaches into approved drugs, changing the lives of thousands of patients. Profits from Ascenion’s operative business and exit proceeds flow via its parent company, the LifeScience Foundation for the Promotion of Science and Research, to fund further translational research at its partner institutes.

Further information at:



Stanislava Zollner, Corporate Communication, Ascenion GmbH
zollner(at)ascenion(dot)de, +49 89 3188140