Press release: Berlin Health Innovations invests in 18 pioneering innovations

The validation fund of Berlin Health Innovations in cooperation with SPARK Berlin is entering its first round. 18 selected teams from the Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin and the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in the Helmholtz Association (MDC) will receive intensive mentoring and coaching as well as 3.4 million euros in funding for their innovative translational projects in the fields of pharma/drug development, medical technology, diagnostics and digital health.

Nine research teams were admitted yesterday to the validation fund of Berlin Health Innovations, the joint technology transfer of the Berlin Institute of Health (BIH) and the Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin. Another nine project teams were approved to participate in the validation fund already in May. Selected projects include innovations to improve the treatment of obesity, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), gene therapy for the treatment of epilepsy and gene therapy to combat cancer. "We are very pleased with the large number of project applications from all areas of innovation. This shows the high demand for investments in innovation projects of Charité and MDC, whose potentials we want to support with the validation fund", says Dr. Rolf Zettl, CFO of BIH and the Board Member responsible for Berlin Health Innovations.

The validation fund supports academic innovation projects aimed at accelerating translation into clinically relevant drugs, diagnostics and therapies. In addition to financial support, the teams also benefit from participation in the SPARK Berlin mentoring programme. The project teams receive individual advice and intensive coaching from experts from fields such as pharmaceuticals, diagnostics, medical technology, patenting, medicinal chemistry and digital health. SPARK Berlin supports the teams throughout the entire duration, which can vary depending on the project and actual requirements. Financial support is generally available for one year, for larger projects up to two years.

About the validation fund

In December 2017, the first call for proposals for the new validation fund was launched. A total of 75 applications were submitted by researchers and clinicians from Charité and MDC for translational projects in the innovation areas of pharmadrug development, medtech, diagnostics and digital health. The call is organized in two tracks. Track 1 is aimed at project teams in the early stages of their development. Track 2 is aimed at project teams with more developed products. The project teams were selected in spring 2018 in the form of pitch sessions by an external jury consisting of scientists as well as experts from industry, clinics and venture capital companies.