MaxWell Biosystems AG

More than one billion people worldwide suffer from diseases of the central nervous system. Treating brain diseases costs annually 1.4T in the EU and US. However, there is a widening gap between the increasing demand for brain therapeutics and the decreasing success rate of new drug.

MaxWell Biosystems AG is an electronics and biotechnology company based in Basel, Switzerland that provides instrumentation and solutions to advance neuroscience research and accelerate drug discovery. Founded in 2016, the fast growing SME has developed electrophysiological platforms for basic research and drug testing on nerve cells, opening up new possibilities for pharmaceutical research assessing clinical potential of drugs to fight brain diseases more efficiently.

Technology of MaxWell helps pharmaceutical companies

In order to develop new drugs, accurate measurement of neural connectivity and access to neurons’ intracellular electrical signals is required. Currently, a high-throughput drug screening platform that allows for that is not available on the market.

The technology of MaxWell will help pharmaceutical companies to perform in vitro drug screenings using patient-derived neurons modelling brain diseases. In turn this will shorten the time for starting clinical trials and also promises to increase the rate of successful medicines for neurological disorders.

Successful Horizon 2020 | SME Instruments Phase 1

The aim of the SME Instruments Phase 1 proposal is to perform a feasibility study for the commercialization of a novel 96-well functional imaging platform, named Ima-Go, for preclinical drug discovery for substances targeting brain diseases. In contrast to state-of-the-art technologies for functional imaging, which either interfere with cellular viability and physiology or provide only a poor spatiotemporal resolution, Ima-Go is label-free, non-invasive and provides readouts of highest quality and resolution. The Ima-Go platform will introduce to the market new biological assays for human cell lines, which cannot be performed by current competing technologies.

MaxWell Biosystems received non-dilutive funding from the SME Instrument of the European Horizon 2020 programme to scale their imaging technology to a throughput required in drug discovery applications. MaxWell Biosystems AG aims to become a world-wide technology leader in the field of advanced functional imaging platforms and modern data analysis solutions, meeting the needs of pharmaceutical companies and contract research organizations to accelerate drug development.

Hezelburcht has supported MaxWell Biosystems with their successful application for this grant. The successful collaboration led to the recent application for another grant of the European Horizon 2020 programme.

Hezelburcht supported our grant proposal writing with professionality and concrete solutions. Our dedicated Hezelburcht consultant provided timely and competent feedback. - Michele Fiscella PhD, VP Scientific Affairs at MaxWell Biosystems AG

Funding opportunities for innovative SME in Switzerland

There are many national funding opportunities in Switzerland for outstanding research and innovation projects. Next to this, although Switzerland is not part of the European Union, they are fully associated to the European research programme. Therefore Swiss parties are able to apply for grants within the Horizon 2020 programme and her follow-up programme Horizon Europe. The specialists from Hezelburcht have a broad experience with European programs such as Eurostars and Horizon 2020 SME Instrument and Fast Track to innovation.

The focus within the SME Instrument component is on close-to-market and scale-up projects of a single SME or a consortium of SMEs established in European Member States or Horizon 2020 associated countries. The SME Instrument is for innovators with ground-breaking concepts that could shape new markets or disrupt existing ones in Europe and the world.


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