The rise of Swiss medical engineering firm Labseed is one such success story.
Co-founders Hicham Majd and Dr Giorgio Pietramaggiore met when the former was researching cells responsible for wound repair for his thesis at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) while Pietramaggiore, from Italy, was training to be a surgeon at the University Hospital of Geneva.
“Our research projects were complementary,” says Majd, who has Swiss-Moroccan nationality. “By putting them together, they brought about an interesting technology.”
Contemporary medicine wouldn’t exist without implantable medical devices such as orthopedic, dental and breast implants or pacemakers, for example.
However, regardless of function, location or surface material, implantable devices can induce the formation of a hard, fibrotic capsule around them, a capsule that can cause pain in addition to affecting the efficiency of the implanted device.
“We have developed a particular surface treatment called MyCoat that can make implants more biocompatible, enhancing their acceptance and increasing their lifespan,” says Majd.
“We wanted to transfer this technology to manufacturers of medical implants and creating a start-up was the best solution to lead our technology to the market.”
MYcoat doesn’t use foreign to the body materials, is 100% made of proteins, doesn’t cause any negative side effects, isn’t restricted to certain implants, can be used for all implantable devices, will be natural part of the body, doesn’t interfere with the implant production chain, can be applied at any stage, doesn’t treat symptoms, and completely avoids capsular contracture.
Applications include: silicone gastric bands, dental implants, orthopedic implants, implantable pumps (insulin and pain control pumps), post surgical adhesions, wound & nerve healing & regeneration.
To move from the world of research to that of entrepreneurship, Majd went to Boston in 2010 as part of the Venture Leaders Prize and Venture Challenge course, both organised by venturelab.
Financed by the Swiss Commission for Technology and Innovation, venturelab offers individual training for start-ups, including the know-how and contacts required to successfully launch your own company.
Priority is given to start-ups in high-tech fields such as computer science, life sciences and bio- or nanotechnologies and the courses offered are free of charge for anyone demonstrating an innovative and persuasive business idea.
“In Boston, I learned how others have turned an idea into a success,” says Majd before adding: “Such courses were really interesting to learn the business side of entrepreneurship.”
Please click links for more information about www.labseed.com/ and venturelab.