BII News - Taking in promising early-stage innovations

BioInnovation Institute takes in new cohort of promising early-stage innovations

BioInnovation Institute takes in new cohort of promising early-stage innovations

Seven start-up companies and university research projects across a range of therapeutic areas and geographical locations form latest intake for life science incubator BioInnovation Institute

BioInnovation Institute (BII), a Novo Nordisk Foundation initiative incubating and accelerating world-class life science research, today identifies its latest cohort of program participants.  Comprising a pan-European spread of start-up companies and university research projects in countries including Denmark, Sweden and the UK, the seven ventures are developing revolutionary science across BII’s three sector specialised areas – therapeutics, bioindustrial and health tech.

BII has made loans to BOOST Pharma from Sweden, Kesmalea Therapeutics from the UK, Enduro Genetics from Denmark and a research project from the Danish hospital, Rigshospitalet, as well as grants to three individual research-based projects at The University of Copenhagen. Each have been funded with 470,000 euros. All seven were selected via BII’s ‘open call’ scheme in which the selection of the seven international projects and start-ups included input from BII’s senior independent Advisory Group of eight international VC companies. The final decision on the selection of the new cohort of early-stage innovation was made by BII’s board of directors.

While the university projects will continue their work at their current institutions during the coming 18 months, the four start-ups will have the opportunity to be established at BII and use BII lab- and office facilities. Here, they will be part of BII’s growing incubator alongside the companies in the Creation House program as well as start-ups in the acceleration program BII Venture Lab which is launching in the beginning of 2021.

Today’s announcement follows BII’s news in September that it has awarded EUR 14M (104M DKK) to eight early-stage life science start-ups and research projects within its Creation House program.

BII recently announced a partnership with eight top-tier investment firms to advise on the selection of the most promising start-ups in therapeutics, bioindustrials and health tech. The senior independent Advisory Group includes well renowned, top-tier investors including SR One, Sofinnova Partners, New Enterprise Associates, Novo Holdings, Wellington Partners, The March Fund, Rock Health and BioVentures investors, all with a successful track record of launching and supporting early-stage companies.

Commenting on today’s announcement, Bobby Soni, Chief Business Officer at BioInnovation Institute, said:

“Over the last two years, BII has funded 85 projects and start-ups with EUR 48 million, each one consistent with our ambition to support innovation that will positively impact global health and the environment by bringing ideas to life and research to market.”

Senior business developer at BII, Giles Dudley added: “We have received considerable interest from scientists and entrepreneurs who have submitted many very high-quality applications to our programs.  Supported by our recently appointed Program Advisory Groups, we are delighted to have selected what we believe to be a first-class group of ventures developing pioneering science across a breadth of therapeutic and bioindustrial areas.”

Details of the new ventures BII has accepted into the program are as follows:

  • BOOST Pharma: A first-in-class treatment for the orphan disease Osteogenesis Imperfecta

  • Kesmalea Therapeutics: Accelerating the discovery of novel protein degraders and providing an alternative approach for therapeutics with ‘PROTAC-like’ actions.

  • Enduro Genetics: Making biobased production possible at any scale by self-selecting fermentations.

  • Start-up company based on research from Rigshospitalet: A first in class treatment for male infertility.
    Three projects at The University of Copenhagen:

  • Antagonists for the Lactate Receptor GPR81/ HCAR1 for Treatment of Solid Tumours

  • A novel therapeutic approach for treatment of obesity

  • A vaccine manufacturing technique for large-scale production of bacterial outer membrane vesicles (OMVs)


Since inception in 2018, BII has supported over 85 start-ups and projects to date, with EUR 48 million in funding.  Its diverse team brings venture capital, pharma and business expertise together to help start-ups accelerate to the next level. Recent portfolio / incubated company successes include immune-oncology company STipe Therapeutics, that raised EUR 20 million in a Series A financing; Chromologics, that received EUR 1.9 million in seed financing; and synthetic biology company Octarine, that completed a successful raise in January of this year.

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