January 17, 2021

Corona initiatives startups LBSP

Aparito

Digitally enabled remote patient monitoring to support the COVID-19 capacity crisis

Aparito is a digital health company with a SaaS platform (Atom5) to support remote patient monitoring globally. Using patient generated data in the form of videos, wearables, photos and text, data is captured and transferred via the patient’s own smart phone / tablet and made available to clinicians and researchers in real time. The COVID-19 crisis means that bed capacity within hospitals will stay overstretched for the time being. All efforts are now focused on A) increasing capacity and B) reducing the need for patients to be admitted e.g. through cancelling routine admissions. Additionally febrile (-feverish) patients have to be assumed as potential virus-positive, and kept isolation, because of the risk that if the patient is COVID-19 positive, [s]he risks contaminating all surrounding patients.Aparito can collaborate with hospitals, clinicians and patients interested in this technology, and deploy our COVID-19 digital solution to offer remote patient monitoring as an alternative to scheduled hospital visits or in-patient stays for patients with chronic disease – giving real-time daily view of the data to the physicians.For pharmaceutical companies running clinical trials, Aparito can support them in moving towards decentralised clinical trials to assure the safety of trial participants. For any questions, please contact Cecile Ollivier (cecile@aparito.com or +31 663985856)

www.aparito.com

LACDR University Leiden

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COVID-19 Research and Education at Leiden Academic Centre for Drug Research

Since the start of the Corona crisis, several COVID-19 related research and teaching projects were started at LACDR. The computational and teaching activities started right away, as well as a large-scale metabolomics screening program by Thomas Hankemeier’s group. Other experimental activities are still in the start-up phase due to the access restrictions to our labs; fortunately, these restrictions were partly removed, so we hope to proceed with full speed. The following article gives an overview on all COVID-19 related activities at LACDR.

VarmX

Recent clinical studies have shown that Covid-19 patients are at an increased risk to develop life-threatening thrombotic complications. General Covid-19 guidelines therefore recommend the use of anti-coagulant drugs in order to prevent thrombosis in hospitalized patients. For Covid-19 patients at home and in high-risk groups oral anti-coagulant drugs are considered. Common side-effects to the use of oral anti-coagulant drugs are bleeding complications, which can be life-threatening at times. The ability to reverse the anti-coagulant effect of such drugs is therefore imperative for safe usage. In this setting, VarmX is developing a novel recombinant protein therapy to restore normal coagulation in patients receiving oral anticoagulant drugs, such as apixaban, rivaroxaban and edoxaban. This therapy is called VMX-C001.

Daniël Verhoef, Senior Scientist

VarmX BV

d.verhoef@VarmX.comwww.VarmX.com

VitalNext

Medical Nutrition to support rehabilitating COVID-19 patients

Many patients that were infected by SARS-COV2 have undergone hospitalization and/or were treated for prolonged times in the ICU. During this period they all have lost significant amount of muscle mass in addition to the other health problems that they encountered. A large fraction of these patients has to undergo intensive rehabilitation programs including physical exercise designed to increase muscle mass and muscle function. Vitalnext (www.vitalnext.com) has developed a medical nutrition that specifically stimulates increase in body weight (in patients that are malnourished and suffering from muscle loss) with a much higher relative amount of muscle mass than effects seen by standard medical nutrition products. Our product has also shown to be effective in increasing muscle function resulting in improved walking speed in patients that had suffered from muscle loss. Both effects (increase in muscle mass and improvement of muscle function) are potentially a huge benefit for recovering COVID-19 patients. While our product has not yet specifically been studied in COVID-19 patients it has undergone preclinical and clinical testing in other subjects with (involuntary) loss of muscle mass resulting in the effects described above. Our product complies with all pertinent regulatory European guidelines and has been notified at the competent regulatory body in The Netherlands as a Food for Special Medical Purposes (FSMP). 

It will be available on the market in the course of August 2020. For further information please contact the company at r.strijker@vitalnext.com

20Med Therapeutics

20Med Therapeutics is a Dutch biotechnology company focused on the development of prophylactic and therapeutics vaccines.

Based on its proprietary bioresponsive polymer nanoparticle technology 20Med is building a non-viral delivery platform for the rapid development of RNA and DNA based vaccines, with applications in infectious diseases and cancer. Manufacturing of the polymeric nanoparticles is straightforward, scalable and independent of the payload, enabling rapid development of a vaccine in case of an outbreak of an unknown disease. The ready to use platform is easily combined with mRNA, saRNA or DNA coding for SARS-CoV-2 antigens. The loaded nanoparticles can be freeze dried and are stable at room temperature, eliminating the need for cold chain logistics.

For further information, please contact Michiel Lodder at info@20medtx.com

Qi NanoTech

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The contribution of nanotechnology to combat COVID-19

The Coronavirus continues to block most of the operations worldwide. From manufacturing to the service sector, many domains have been affected by its adverse effect. As to now no vaccine or medicine is available to prevent or cure this disease. Nanotechnology can offer powerful tools to limit viral spreading and thus support economic recovery. Qi NanoTech has developed a self-cleaning, antibacterial & antiviral, self-sanitizing coating for indoor & outdoor applications. The QX NC4 nano coating product combines photocatalytic and super-hydrophilic features to provide excellent viral protection and can be used across many industries like healthcare, food, chemicals, building maintenance, construction and energy industries. Air and surface bio-contamination caused by Coronavirus can be dramatically reduced utilizing QX NC4, thus protecting your facility, customers and employees against COVID-19.We are currently developing our nanocoating for applications in serve internal medical interventions, which is why Qi NanoTech chose to establish a research collaboration unit at Leiden Bio Science Park.

For further information please contact: Leonardo Mouwen lmouwen@le-os.com 

MYLIFE TECHNOLOGIES

Nanoporous Micro Needles for fast, first-line vaccination in new outbreaks.

MyLife Technologies develops nanoporous Micro Needle Patches that deliver vaccines and drugs intradermal, so inside the skin. Easy to self-administer on the skin in less than 30 seconds, no pain, no blood and no liquids involved…These micro needle patches can be sent by post or courier anywhere in the world and without cold-chain logistics…The skin itself is only 2 to 3 mm deep, and the layer above the nerves and blood vessels is only 600micrometers or less. This is where the highest density of immune-presenting cells reside. Normal hypodermic needles inject through the skin into subcutaneous fat or muscle, which means they need much more antigen to get sufficient immune response.

By injecting vaccines in the skin (as opposed to under the skin) a 3x to 10x reduction in antigen can deliver the same immune response. This makes our micro needle patch delivery of vaccines preferable in situations where antigens are short in supply, or for emerging pathogens, and where the first batches of antigen are crucial to protect first-line health professionals and other vital sectors and vulnerable groups in a society. As our ceramic nanopores are inert and can stabilize the antigen, the product is shipped in dry form and does not require deep-freeze cold chain logistics, which is complex and very expensive, especially in outbreak situations.

We at MyLife Technologies formulate a customer’s choice of antigen, nano-particle or drug, to load and release from our Micro Needles. We demonstrate the feasibility in the lab and license out the technology for further development. We are currently scaling up the production of our Micro Needles and making them ready for mass-customization to meet customer special requirements.

Please contact info@mylifetechnologies.nl for further enquiries or visit www.mylifetechnologies.nl

Eyesiu

Eyesiu in Health~Holland public-private partnership for Predicting and Preventing COVID-19

Eyesiu Medicines BV creates innovative therapeutics and nutraceuticals based on advanced delivery technology. The company participates in a Health~Holland funded public-private partnership aiming at Predicting and Preventing COVID-19. This prestigious project is a collaboration of expert partners in this field, joined together by Thomas Hankemeier, professor Analytical biosciences at Leiden University and leader of the consortium. The consortium partners hope to improve patient care for intensive care patients, the elderly and at-risk groups. With the generated data and specific metabolomic fingerprints, partners will test the effect of existing and new drugs or optimize patients' diets and use of food supplements. The effective delivery of existing drugs and food supplements is the core expertise and contribution of Eyesiu in this partnership.

Based on its patented nanotechnology Eyesiu developed and markets PEArlboost+ spray, which is a convenient, fast and sustained delivered food supplement containing palmitoylethanolamide (PEA). PEA can already help consumers to prepare the body to combat COVID-19 by providing fast and sustained targeted support for a healthy lifestyle. Similarly, by using this innovative solvent-free and serum-stable nanotechnology, the existing medicine Cyclosporine A (CsA) can have specific therapeutic use in patients with COVID-19.

See Eyesiu’s news releases on the very encouraging outcomes of CsA use in COVID-19, and further blogs in Dutch about PEA, in English about CsA and PEA, and about the PEA hypothesis. On www.eyesiu.com you can find more company information, and see how you can join and own shares in the company, or close a product partnership.

For further information, please contact Pieter J. Gaillard at info@eyesiu.com

Rapidemic

Rapidemic originated as a student project at Leiden University, as part of the MIT-based international competiton in biotechnology, for which the team won the grand prize. 

We at Rapidemic aim to develop a novel rapid diagnostic test for infectious diseases. The testkits do not rely on an external power source and contain fairly inexpensive reagents rendering it suitable for point-of-care use. The Rapidemic bio-molecular technology consists of three well-established techniques. A patient sample is introduced into the testkit after which the pathogenic particles are lysed and the genetic material is exposed. A specific part of the pathogen's genome is then amplified and a DNA-based reporter is produced. In the final step, the reporter provides a clear visual readout in the form of a color change. The combination of the three reactions to detect target DNA or RNA constitutes the ingenuity and the novelty of the technology. 

Although the technology is not yet developed for the detection of SARS-CoV, we are exploring the possibility to do so in the future. As a starting and growing project, we are currently looking for collaborators and partners within the Bioscience park.

Feel free to reach out via our website www.rapidemic.com 
or to Violette Defourt violette.defourt@hotmail.com 
or Eugene Golov zhenya.golov@gmail.com 

Other news

Subsidie voor onderzoek naar medicijn dat longen en nieren beschermt tegen coronavirus

Wetenschappers van het Leids Universitair Medisch Centrum (LUMC) gaan een medicijn ontwikkelen dat schade aan de longen en de nieren door het SARS-CoV-2-virus moet voorkomen. Ze krijgen hiervoor ruim 900.000 euro subsidie van Topsector Life Sciences & Health (Health~Holland) en werken samen met LUMC spin-off Hybridize Pharma.

Lees hier het hele artikel.

Did you know? Our network of Leiden female beta scientists hosts regular meet-ups: RISE