It’s been over 9 months since our last President’s Startup Challenge final. As we head towards this year’s final, we thought it would be good to find out how last year’s alumni are getting on. We caught up with some of them to find out more.

As you can see from below, there have been great successes across our finalists, we’ve seen:

  • Funding gains; be that seeded or grants. (Including investment from Pistoia Alliance member companies!)
  • Development of a new innovative open source business model (through support from the Pistoia Alliance mentor)
  • More awards won.
  • New collaborations and clients gained across the pharma and healthcare space.
  • Hiring of new employees and expansion into regions outside their home country

The 2016 Pistoia Alliance winners have had a truly successful year and we applaud them.

Inspired by Last Year’s Winners? Enter Now!

If you are a startup or know a startup who would benefit from entering our competition with the benefits of a cash prize, mentorship from leading industry figures and exposure to the Pistoia Alliance network, then find out more here. Deadline for submission is August 31st 2017, 23:59 EST

2016 Alumni

The Grand Prize Winner:


“Medexprim has made great progress these past months. Thanks to the award from the Pistoia Alliance, we have been able to finalize the development of our solution Radiomics Enabler®, develop our web site and attend conferences where we have made good contacts with researchers from academia and life science industry.

Many are eager to work with us to discover imaging biomarkers or better stratify patient populations based on imaging descriptors from PET, MRI, etc. Many improvements have been made to our solution since 2015, when the first prototype was developed with the Toulouse University Hospitals. The current version of Radiomics Enabler® (general release) was installed in Toulouse in May and has received a warm welcome from our users. It will be released as open-source very shortly.

We have just secured a first sale at the Sud Francilien Hospital (South Paris). We will deploy and configure Radiomics Enabler® in September, for a study which aims at qualifying MRI biomarkers in about 500 patients who had a stroke. Our coach Dr. Kate Torchilin, from Novaseek Research (Winner – President’s Startup Challenge 2015), is helping us out to find the right contacts to penetrate the market in the US. We are also trying to find projects where our two companies can work together, as our solutions can complement each other nicely. More news from Medexprim can be found at” – Karine Seymour – President of Medexprim

Radiomics Enabler® complements Clinical Data Warehouses with imaging capabilities. It streamlines the cumbersome process of identifying and extracting imaging sequences from any PACS (Picture Archiving and Communication System), anonymizing them and routing them to a post-processing pipeline. With Radiomics Enabler®, Medexprim gives hospitals and researchers new capabilities to efficiently and securely exploit imaging exams from their PACS for research and to valorize these resources within external collaborations. Medexprim contributes to accelerating medical research and helps researchers to find and validate new imaging biomarkers.

The Audience Vote Winner:


“Pine Biotech closed $1,025,000 in seed funding from investors this May in support of the development and commercialization of the biomedical data analysis and machine learning platform. Incorporated in 2014, Pine Biotech is commercializing a biomedical and multi-omics data analysis platform built in collaboration with the Tauber Bioinformatics research Center and the University of Haifa.

The funding generated will support the various collaborations secured with government agencies, academic medical centers and technology partners, and is supported by the vision of an integrated and data driven healthcare model in which research is conducted and treatment given based on patients’ unique genetic markers.”

Pine Biotech announced it is participating in the DARPA-initiated “Intercept” project*, their four year Intercept initiative, launched in 2016, aims to combat viruses like Zika, Ebola, Dengue, Influenza, and Chikungunya which pose a serious threat to military and civilian populations in the United States and across the globe.  Elia Brodsky – CEO Pine.Bio

DARPA is the sponsor, the content does not necessarily reflect the position or policy of the US government, and no official endorsement should be inferred

Pine Biotech is developing an integrative multi-omics, cloud-based analytics platform that can map complex networks of molecular signaling pathways and identify key nodes. The product provides advanced machine- learning capabilities to diverse teams including biologists and bioinformaticians. The platform combines education, intuitive pipeline-building environment assisted by artificial intelligence and methods covering most omics data types – transcriptomics, genomics, metabolomics, proteomics, microbiome, structural biology and integration. The goal of our product is to train research teams and empower them to get more out of their data.

The runners-up:


“Swedish alumni company Monocl has widely exceeded expectations since the President’s challenge final last year. Since the event, reputable companies such as Pfizer, Novartis, AstraZeneca, Agilent and GE Healthcare have all joined the rapidly growing customer list. Key functions such as R&D information, clinical research and medical affairs use Monocl EGO to find, evaluate and engage with the right external innovators, investigators, sites, thought leaders and rising stars across the world. The company has also executed on their US expansion plan through a US subsidiary and employees have now been hired in the strategically important geographies Philadelphia and New Jersey.” – Bjorn Carlsson – CEO Monocl

Monocl enables life science professionals work smarter with the right external stakeholders. We have developed Monocl EGO, a cloud-based platform designed to help you collaborate and compete smarter. Monocl EGO lets you find and engage with the right stakeholders, regardless if you are looking for scientific experts, investigators, medical institutions, customers or competitors. The platform contains millions of scientific experts and organizations, each seamlessly profiled to help you understand collaborations, research activities and financial transactions in a superior manner. Monocl EGO is empowered by a machine-learning architecture currently based on source data from research publications, clinical trials, grant funding, industry payments and more.


“Since we met for the first time in Boston, there have been the following updates from Pharmacelera’s perspective:

  • We closed a seed investment round in December 2016 including business angels from the pharmaceutical (Almirall, Ferrer, Bayer, Novartis, …) and information technologies (Intel and Broadcom) industries and investment groups such as DCN Ventures (
  • Center for Industrial and Technological Development (CDTI) has classified Pharmacelera in the top 5% of the most innovative companies in 2016 and, as such, has awarded us a NEOTEC grant of 188,000 euros. With such a grant, Pharmacelera has raised a total of 365,000 euros of public funding.
  • Oncostellae and Metabostem, two biotech companies working on therapeutic solutions for cancer, become our first customers
  • We have grown our team to 8 people combining different profiles: chemists, bioinformaticians, engineers and salesmen”

Enric Gilbert – CEO Pharmacelera

Pharmacelera ( is a Computer-Aided Drug Design software company that develops disruptive hardware / software solutions to increase the productivity of pharmaceutical R&D. Pharmacelera’s products tackle both quality and speed in the initial stages of drug discovery through a unique and proprietary molecular analysis engine and the usage of hardware accelerators. Pharmacelera’s products, PharmScreen and PharmQSAR, are based on algorithms that use a full 3D representation of all the relevant interaction fields. This technology enables finding leads with higher accuracy and chemical diversity than traditional shape/structure-based solutions.

If you’d like to know more about the Pistoia Alliance’s startup challenges, contact David Proudlock.

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