Zurich, Switzerland – November 6th, 2023 – Navignostics is delighted to announce that it has successfully applied for the Start-up Innovation Project Grant from Innosuisse to develop a spatial single-cell proteomic test to inform immunotherapy treatment decisions. Following a two-step selection process, Navignostics was awarded close to 2.4M CHF from Innosuisse. Together with the contribution from Navignostics, this grant will enable the implementation of the ~3.4M CHF project.
Immunotherapies have revolutionized cancer treatments in the last decade, offering long-term survival prospects to advanced cancer patients. However, only a small subset of patients responds to these treatments, and currently available tests are not able to reliably identify them. Thus, a large fraction of the high cost spent on these treatments is used on non-responders, who can in addition suffer from strong side effects.
Navignostics develops novel diagnostic tests based on highly multiplex tissue imaging, offering an in-depth characterization of the tumor micro-environment, including in situ cell phenotyping and characterization of cell-cell interaction. This approach is perfectly suited to provide the comprehensive insight needed to identify immunotherapy responders.
The project, led by Navignostics CSO Stéphane Chevrier, was submitted to the Start-up Innovation Project scheme, a new funding instrument provided by Innosuisse to significantly facilitate the market launch for innovative products or services, and was positively evaluated by a panel of independent experts as well as the Innovation Council.
For Navignostics CEO, Jana Fischer, this is a strong vote of confidence in NX’s achievements and abilities to revolutionize personalized cancer diagnostics: “We are extremely happy that we are able to implement this important project with the support of Innosuisse in order to identify responders to immunotherapy, improve patient lives and reduce the unsustainable burden that unsuccessful immunotherapy treatments currently inflict on the health system.”
With the increasing amount of immunotherapy treatments which will reach the market in the coming years and the growing fraction of cancer patients who will potentially be eligible for such treatments, the relevance of a diagnostics tests, which can reliably identify responders and non-responders will strongly increase in the near future.
Navignostics is a spin-off company from the University of Zurich, founded in April 2022, which is leveraging spatial single-cell proteomics to perform advanced analyses of tumor samples. As a start–up active in the personalized medicine field, Navignostics strives to provide innovative solutions to identify the best possible treatment for each cancer patient. In addition, Navignostics provides advanced services to pharmaceutical companies to accelerate cancer drug development and to contribute to companion diagnostic development.
Innosuisse is the Swiss Innovation Agency. Its mission is to promote science-based innovation in the interest of the economy and society in Switzerland. The core of Innosuisse funding is the support of innovation projects: innovative organizations such as SMEs, large companies and start-ups develop new services and products together with universities and research institutions. Start-ups with significant innovation potential can also apply for direct funding for start-up innovation projects under certain conditions.