Bringing some of the most innovative solutions centrestage, Labpreneur set the bar high for its first-ever round at Medlab Middle East, 2023. The start-up competition saw seven entries — from revolutionising mobile molecular testing to liquid biopsies — battle it out to win the grand prize at the MENA region’s largest medical laboratory exhibition.
Esteemed panel judges included Marwan Abdulaziz Janahi, Managing Director at Dubai Science Park, Dr. Marie Ibrahim, Associate Director at the Regulatory Affairs and Pharmacovigilance, IROS CRO, Gaelle Yammine, Associate, Middle East Venture Partners, and Dr. Rahul Chaudhary, Group Director, Pathology from Unilabs.
Given only five minutes to pitch, the impressive line-up of seasoned innovators took to the stage to speak about their solutions and how they can transform the laboratory medicine industry. Gene&Green TK, a young biotech company dedicated to developing robust enzymes addressing major public health and environmental issues, was represented by their CTO Dr. David Daude. He not only addressed the One Health concept but also focused on one of the most key components in the laboratory industry that warrants attention: Sustainability.
Other participants included LivSys, who develop and manufacture in vitro diagnostic products to provide quality and cost-effective instruments that enable affordable healthcare to all segments. The pitch was presented by Dilip Ramesh, the Director.
Veteran of laboratory medicine, Dr. Palat Menon founded the first-ever biotech diagnostics manufacturing company in the UAE, AstaGene. Menon’s presence has been prolific in the industry and at the Medlab series, as he has regularly been a Chair for illustrious tracks such as the Future of Laboratory. Now bringing his very own initiative into the spotlight, Menon spoke about the innovation behind his magnum opus.
Haythem Zouaoui, CEO of Zcare – a 3D medical solution company — showcased an impressive presentation of how 3D printing and augmented reality could help surgeons perform their surgery in assistance, cementing the belief of how technology will be the cornerstone of healthcare.
Meanwhile, Detectiome emphasised on the presence of digitalisation with its solution of being the first AI-enabled liquid biopsy multi-cancer detection test in the Middle East, presented by Arman Vali, CEO.
Most anti-cancer therapies are nonspecific in their mechanism of action. Consequently, most of them also act against normal cells and cause severe toxicity and side effects to the patients. Drugs and small molecules that target signalling pathways and cellular systems that are important in normal cells usually fail clinical investigation because of these off-target responses. To address this, a biotech company that is developing precision medicine-based diagnostics and targeted therapeutics in oncology, born out of the UAE is Intelligenix Advanced Diagnostics. Dr. Carlton Donald, Co-Founder, addressed some challenging questions on stage, including why the UAE is an ideal platform. His answer was simple, the US’ approach is curing, but in the UAE, prevention is highly prioritised.
Among all the transformative solutions by the best minds from clinical laboratories, there could be only one winner. After much deliberation, Alveo Technologies took the title of Medlab’s first-ever Labpreneur winner. Erik Tyrrell Knott, Chief Business and Strategy Officer, explained how Alveo re-envisioned the capabilities of molecular diagnostics on its mission to enable earlier detection of pathogens at the point of need. The be.well Analyzer and Cartridge was the highlight of the pitch and was given to the judges for an up close and personal look. With a single use disposable cartridge, the device features all reagents required for an isothermal amplification reaction. It is also portable, palm-sized, rechargeable and can display results on mobile devices, taking accessibility to a whole new level.