Rapid Diagnostic Test that could save millions of lives
Around 800 representatives of the Swiss medical technology industry attended this year’s Swiss Medtech Day. Peter Biedermann, Swiss Medtech Managing Director, is delighted with this record number. «Swiss Medtech Day is the largest platform for networking in the medtech industry and the perfect venue to present the Swiss Medtech Award. Who could better appreciate the achievement of the winning team than this particular crowd? Everyone in the room knows how much skill and work goes into developing a medical technology innovation».
This year’s Swiss Medtech Award worth CHF 75,000 goes to the Point-of-Care Diagnostics company named Abionic. The company, founded in 2010 by Dr Nicolas Durand and Dr Iwan Märki as a spin-off of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL), received the award in recognition of its rapid diagnostic test platform (abioSCOPE). It features a revolutionary nanotechnology-based process: patient samples such as blood, saliva, or urine can be tested for more than a dozen biomarkers in just five minutes and then, if necessary, clinical decisions can be made based on the test results. This convenient and practical device can be used at the point of care – at the bedside, in the pharmacy, at the scene of an accident, or in an ambulance. «The time gained can save lives. In the case of sepsis, every hour counts» says jury representative Andi Vonlanthen from Sonova. Sepsis – commonly known as blood poisoning – is one of the most frequent causes of death worldwide. It is an inappropriate reaction of the body to an infection whereby the body’s defence system not only damages the pathogen, but its own organs as well. A quick and reliable diagnosis is crucial, as each hour without antibiotic treatment increases risk of death by 8%. The Abionic rapid test searches the blood sample for pancreatic stone protein, a biomarker produced by the pancreas in response to sepsis.
«Abionic is also impressive from an entrepreneurial point of view. In just under ten years, the founders have managed to set their company on a course of expansion by developing rapid tests for acute and primary care. Their team has succeeded impressively in bringing together talents from a multitude of scientific and technical fields, as well as clinical, regulatory and commercial ones» says Andi Vonlanthen. Dr Nicolas Durand, CEO of Abionic, accepted the Swiss Medtech Award with great pleasure on behalf of his team. Much has changed since the company was founded – except the ambition. «We are dedicated to revolutionising in vitro diagnostics, as well as significantly improving patient care and saving lives with our rapid tests. The Swiss Medtech Award is further confirmation that we are on the right track» says the winner.
About the Swiss Medtech Award and Swiss Medtech Day
Swiss Medtech first launched the Swiss Medtech Award competition in 2018. The prize money of CHF 75,000 – sponsored by the Lichtsteiner Foundation, Sonova Group, Straumann Group, and Ypsomed – recognises outstanding achievements in the Swiss medical technology industry. A jury chaired by Prof. Mirko Meboldt, ETH Zurich evaluates candidates according to the patient benefit, improvements in healthcare, and technological pioneering spirit. The winning team is announced each year at Swiss Medtech Day. Other event partners include Innosuisse (the Swiss Agency for Innovation Research) and konplan systemhaus ag. The main sponsors of Swiss Medtech Day are be-advanced AG, Deloitte, Helbling Technik, and Zühlke.
Swiss Medtech represents more than 750 members in its role as industry association for Swiss medical technology. With 67,500 employees and a contribution of 11.5% to the positive trade balance, medical technology is an economically significant sector in Switzerland. Swiss Medtech advocates for conditions that enable the medtech industry to perform at peak capacity and provide first-class medical care.