Health tech is an undisputed leader in the startup landscape in Belgium outranking industries such as fintech and manufacturing. There has been a persistent growth in the health tech startups in the country since the past decade. Not only startups but also in the scaleup ecosystem, healthcare is a leader in Belgium.
Healthcare startups in Belgium
Mostly, a large number of Belgium health tech startups are spin-offs that have budded from research organisations. Furthermore, many initiatives and networks are also providing their support to healthcare entrepreneurship.
As Belgian health tech is doing pretty well over the years with several notable investments and innovative approaches, we at Silicon Canals have curated a list of fast-growing startups from Dealroom. Take a look!
Founded year: 2015
Funding: €15.7 million
miDiagnostics is a spin-off from imec and a research collaboration with the Johns Hopkins University in the US. The Leuven-based healthtech company is developing a new generation of disposable tests that need only drops of blood for the detection of cells, nucleic acids, proteins, and small molecules. It uses a novel silicon-based nanofluidic processor that is capable of processing the blood sample automatically sans any pumps or valves.
With miDiagnostics, there is no need for expensive and complex instrumentation to make medical decisions. The nanofluidic processor is combined with a compact reader for screening, diagnosis and monitoring of a range of health conditions including infectious ailments.
Founder/s: Dirk Loeckx, Wim Hecke
Founded year: 2011
Funding: €18.4 million
Leuven-based icometrix has developed a fully automated FDA-approved and CE-certified icobrain software. Its software is already available in Europe, Brazil, Australia, Canada, and Japan. The icobrain software is deployed in over 100 hospitals and imaging centre networks all over the world and is working with the largest health tech and pharmaceutical companies as well.
icometrix touts that its icobrain software paves the way for a better and faster understanding of medical images in a more consistent and personalised manner by quantifying the volume of brain structures and abnormalities. This software is of critical importance as brain scan plays a major role in the diagnosis and treatment of various disorders in an efficient way.
Founder/s: Benedict Verhegghe, Matthieu Beule, Peter Mortier
Founded year: 2009
Funding: €12.2 million
FEops based in Gent has developed FEops HEARTguide, which is a proprietary system to enhance transcatheter valve procedures depending on personalised computer simulations. The company’s first product is TAVIguide, which is a CE-marked tech that can predict how a TAVI implant will interact with the patient-specific aortic anatomy and provide meaningful clinical insights.
FEops operates with the mission to create predictive, unique, and personalised computational modelling and simulation solutions that empower medical device manufacturers come up with superior products at a faster rate. These will enable physicians improve the clinical outcomes.
Founder/s: Jan Hellemans, Jo Vandesompele
Founded year: 2007
Funding: €2 million
Biogazelle specialises in high-value applications that support pharmaceutical research, diagnostic test development, and clinical trials. It applies a suite of transcriptomic and genomic technologies to validate and find RNA biomarkers and assesses safety, efficacy, and toxicity.
During the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak, Biogazelle has been at the first line in the fight against the virus. It participated in a Belgian government-led consortium of academia, pharma, and biotech aimed at increasing the testing capacity in the country dramatically. The mission of this Belgian healthtech startup is to provide customised RNA gene expression services by choosing the best analytical platforms and developing data analysis software tools.
Founder/s: Jan Steyaert
Founded year: 2015
Funding: €41.3 million
Confo Therapeutics is a spin-off of Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) and Vlaams Instituut voor Biotechnologie (VIB). Is a drug discovery company involved in building a unique pipeline of GPCR targeted therapeutics that address unmet medical requirements. It employs its proprietary CONFO technology to lock inherently unstable functional conformations of GPRCs as a superior starting point for drug discovery.
Confo body-stabilised active state conformations of these receptors disclose previously inaccessible structural features empowering the discovery of novel agonists for better therapeutic intervention. And, recently, the company was in the headlines for appointing Paolo Therapeutics as its Chief Development Officer.
Founder/s: Etienne Sokal, John Tchelingerian
Founded year: 2009
Funding: €133 million
Belgian startup Promethera Biosciences is one of the leading innovators in the world specialised in liver therapeutics. The company operates with the mission to bring life-saving treatments that will reduce the need for liver transplantation. It is one of the pioneers in the development of cell-based therapies that will provide both anti-fibrotic and immunomodulatory effects in the liver.
Promethera Biosciences’ lead clinical program is derived from its patented allogenic live-cell platform dubbed HepaStem. The startup has developed its cell therapy technologies using allogeneic stem and progenitor liver cells that are isolated, expanded, and purified from healthy human livers unsuitable for transplantation.
Founder/s: Denis Dufrane
Founded year: 2013
Funding: €28 million
Novadip Biosciences is an advanced biopharmaceutical company focused on new generation of therapies from adipose stem cells adapted to hard and soft tissues reconstruction. It is transforming the lives of patients using its unique “3M3” tissue regeneration technology platform. Using its unique 3M3 tissue regeneration platform, which utilises adipose-derived stem cells within a 3-dimensional extracellular matrix, the company helps drive multiple product classes.
Novadip’s mission is to provide innovative solutions for patients with limited or no effective treatment options. Notably, it is a spin-off from Université Catholique de Louvain (UCLouvain) and St. Luc University Hospital.
Founder/s: Joris Winderickx
Founded year: 2002
Funding: €12 million
reMYND is a spin-off from the University of Leuven. It actively drives R&D in the field of protein misfolding diseases, among others Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and Parkinson’s disease (PD). The company consists of two independently managed units. The Drug Discovery and Development Unit focuses on disease-modifying treatments for among others AD and PD. And, the Contract Research Unit offers extensive experience in the testing of experimental Alzheimer therapies in its unique and proprietary transgenic mouse models.
Founder/s: Nader Donzel, Rudi Pauwels
Founded year: 2007
Funding: €320 million
Biocartis develops diagnostic systems to reduce the cost and improve the efficacy of personalised medical treatments. It provides next-generation diagnostic solutions aimed at improving clinical practice for the benefit of patients, clinicians, payers and industry.
The company’s proprietary MDx Idylla platform is a fully automated, real-time system offering accurate, highly-reliable molecular information from any biological sample in virtually any setting. Idylla addresses the growing demand for personalised medicine by allowing fast and effective treatment selection and treatment progress monitoring.
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