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26 November, 2020 - 12:55

Paediatric HealthTech nets £10k bonus to help children with hearing loss

Babraham Research Campus, AstraZeneca and CMS Ventures joined forces to offer the current cohort of [email protected] life science startups the opportunity to pitch for an additional £10K non-dilutive funding. 

The winning start-up Paediatric HealthTech, anchored at the Babraham Accelerator, was chosen as winner by audience vote.

The pitching competition formed part of AstraZeneca’s annual Cambridge Exchange event, during which EVP of Biopharmaceutical R & D Sir Mene Pangalos and key figures from the Universities of Cambridge and Oxford discussed the collaborative efforts undertaken to tackle COVID-19 and the science-led approaches to developing testing and treatment for the disease. 

The event specifically highlighted the role that collaboration, and the Cambridge life science cluster, have played in orchestrating the UK and global response to the pandemic.

Facilitated by Hitesh Sanganee, AstraZeneca’s head of emerging Innovations, each [email protected] cohort company had just three minutes to pitch their technology, set out critical next steps and communicate their investment aspirations in order to convince the listening audience that their venture was most deserving of the additional cash injection.

Having heard ArkVax, Paediatric HealthTech, ConcR and Stroma Biosciences present, the audience cast their votes and the winner – Paediatric HealthTech –  was announced by Shaun Grady, SVP Business Development Operations, AstraZeneca.

Paediatric HealthTech aims to positively change the development, learning and life chances of children with hearing loss. 

CEO, Tamsin Holland-Brown said: “This is a pivotal amount of money that will allow the next step of the project – to complete the medical device CE marking and start using the Hear Glue Ear product set in a clinical pathway - to move forward. 

“This feels like a very significant step towards changing the outcome of children with deafness secondary to glue ear. It is fantastic to have been able to continue to move the project forward during Covid, when grommet operations are not available (due to surgery prioritisation categories that had to be introduced) and children have little support. 

“It has been inspiring to be working alongside colleagues who are part of the [email protected] cohort this year, who are doing so much to advance the science of vaccines and technology available to treat cancer.”

Shaun Grady added: “AstraZeneca is committed to contributing to the development of the life science industry in Cambridge and beyond. We were delighted to join forces with the Babraham Research Campus and CMS Ventures to provide an opportunity for these new startups to hone their pitching skills and further develop their great ideas. 

“The quality of the shortlisted teams was impressive and my colleagues and I look forward to mentoring the winning team.”

CMS Ventures is an early-stage investor based in Cambridge investing in biotech & life sciences start-ups in the UK. Launched in 2020, it is the investment arm of China Medical Systems Holdings Limited (CMS), a well-established, innovation-driven speciality pharmaceutical company founded in 1995 and listed on the Main Board of the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited. 

Hanadi Jabado, managing director, CMS Ventures said: “CMS Ventures recognises the vibrancy and vitality of the UK biotech and life sciences ecosystem. 

“We have an ambition to work closely with centres of excellence, such as [email protected], to support and nurture early stage innovation across the UK. 

“The four shortlisted teams form a great display of diversity in talent, sectors and stages of development and we hope that Paediatric HealthTech will benefit from the mentored nurturing cash prize to get to the next stage of their start-up journey.”

• PHOTOGRAPH: The current [email protected] Cohort (from left to right): Eugene Park, Stroma Biosciences, Catherine Holland-Brown, Paediatric HealthTech, Jon Cuccui, ArkVax and Matthew Griffiths, ConcR

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