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­­­BTech and HuMiX awarded at Luxembourg Healthcare Summit

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Published on Friday, 16 June 2017

First held in 2014, the Luxembourg Healthcare Summit is a central event for idea exchange and networking for healthcare professionals and researchers in the country and beyond. More than 100 participants joined the event on 15 June 2017 to discuss current issues of P4 medicine, participate in workshops and enjoy the networking opportunities with other local and international experts.

A highlight of the evening was the award-ceremony whereby Braingineering Technologies (BTech) and HuMiX were honoured with the Healthcare Startup Award and the Healthcare Research Award, respectively. Overall, 6 prizes were awarded for outstanding performance, initiatives and solutions in the Healthcare sector.

Braingineering Technologies – 3D Brain-on-a-chip technology for drug development for neurodegenerative diseases

BTech is a startup of the Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine (LCSB) of the University of Luxembourg.. Its partners CSO Prof. Jens Schwamborn, CTO Dr. Silvia Bolognin and CEO Heinrich Kunz were recognized for their 3D Brain-on-a-Chip technology to screen for new drugs against neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease.

CTO Dr. Silvia Bolognin and CEO Heinrich Kunz

BTech supports pharmaceutical companies to increase their efficiency and the success rate of compounds that pass the clinical trials. The company uses patients-derived skin cells, which are transformed via induced pluripotent stems cells into their 3D Brain-on-a-Chip technology. This system hence allows the pre-clinical testing of novel compounds in a human disease relevant model.

HuMiX (Human Microbial Cross-talk) – a representative in vitro model of the gut

HuMiX, a microfluidic device developed by Prof. Paul Wilmes, Dr. Pranjul Shah and colleagues from the Eco-Systems Biology group at the LCSB, allows to study the link between the microbes in the gut and health and disease. With HuMiX one can systematically  investigate host–microbe interactions on molecular level of unprecedented detail. Applications of the technology are far-reaching and are attracting substantial interest from the nutrition and pharmaceutical industries because it facilitates mechanistic understanding of how probiotics, dietary compounds or drugs affect human physiology. Thereby, the HuMiX model represents disruptive technology, which is poised to have a significant impact on the development of new therapeutic strategies and healthcare in general.

“We are delighted that two LCSB innovations have been recognized with these prestigious awards,” says LCSB Director Prof. Rudi Balling. “It shows that our technologies are seen as an important step to advance P4 medicine for neurodegenerative and other diseases.”