Conector Startup Accelerator has announced the winners of the GEM-Novartis Melanoma Challenge. This challenge was promoted by the Multidisciplinary Melanoma Group (GEM) and BHH member Novartis, with the collaboration of Conector, in order to respond to the needs existing in the approach to melanoma through solutions supported by new technologies. The winning startups were Hospify, specialists in secure messaging software for clinical environments, and Quibim, specialists in virtual biopsies based on medical images, who presented their proposals together with 12 other finalists at the V GEM Translational Meeting, held on the last November 10.
At a time of digital transformation, especially in the field of health, GEM, Novartis and Connector, through the GEM-Novartis Melanoma Challenge, launched two challenges to the entrepreneurial ecosystem with the aim of identifying innovative proposals that contribute to optimizing the work of health professionals in the management of melanoma throughout the entire process: from prevention and diagnosis, to treatment and monitoring of the patient.
The first challenge, in which Hospify was the winner, sought to make the knowledge and experience of oncologists specializing in melanoma more accessible to generalist oncologists and enhance synergies to ensure optimal management of the disease and apply this knowledge to other types of cancer. In this sense, Hospify’s proposal has consisted of a messaging and data platform among professionals. The finalists of this challenge have been: Cancerappy, Discope, Genotipia, Gloria, iMoles, Legit Health, Molexplore and Uphill.
The second challenge, where Quibim has been declared as the winner, invited to propose solutions to digitize and easily integrate all the information of the melanoma patient – combining clinical and molecular data with medical images – to speed up diagnosis, personalize treatments and establish prognosis and response prediction. Quibim’s proposal has consisted of a platform that displays dermatological, radiological and pathological anatomy images that allows the storage of clinical and genetic data. Other startups that reached the final phase of this challenge have been: Idonia, Dermavision, Recog Analytics and Tedcas.
In the words of Dr. Alfonso Berrocal, president of GEM, “at GEM we have the mission of joining and coordinating efforts between the different actors involved in the treatment of melanoma. We want to continue advancing in this regard, and we have joined Novartis to embark on a path of direct and open collaboration with the entrepreneurial ecosystem in order to promote innovation through new technologies and improve the lives of patients with this pathology ” .
José Marcilla, CEO of Novartis Oncology, “at Novartis we have been committed for years to the research and development of innovative treatments to transform the care of patients with melanoma, but we are aware that the future of cancer must go hand in hand with collaboration and new technologies. Entrepreneurs are the vanguard of digital health, and we want to be by their side to promote the development of solutions that truly have an impact on the lives of people with melanoma ”.
For his part, the CEO of Conector Startup Accelerator, Lalo García, points out that “’open innovation’ is clearly one of the avenues with the most potential for the development of new products and services and allows corporations to incorporate innovative ideas generated and developed outside their structures. Conector is proud to collaborate with its experience and its network of mentors with GEM and Novartis to favor the development of new business ideas that add value to patients.”