Home  > News  > Noteworthy


Please find below news in brief from Ascenion, its partners and the technology transfer sector:


Phase I data strongly support OMEICOS’ novel candidate for treating atrial fibrillation

Ascenion’s portfolio company OMEICOS reported positive Phase I data for its lead candidate OMT-28, a small molecule with strong anti-arrhythmic and cardioprotective potential. The study, which enrolled 75 subjects at two centers in Germany, showed an excellent safety profile with no signals in vital signs or relevant laboratory parameters up to the maximum dose tested, which was 60 mg. Moreover, pharmacokinetic data support a once daily oral treatment schedule.

Based on this positive outcome, the company has accelerated its plans to initiate a phase II trial in atrial fibrillation, the most common cardiac arrhythmia in humans. If successful, OMT-28 could provide a new, highly safe and effective treatment modality for millions of patients.

Further information: See OMEICOS’ press release 

Learn details on the trial (NCT03078738): ClinicalTrials.gov 


Join BioFIT 2018, Europe’s Top Event for Academia-Industry Collaborations in the field of Life Sciences

BioFIT is a partnering event in Europe for technology transfer, academia-industry collaborations and early-stage innovations in the field of Life Sciences with more than 1,200 international delegates from 35+ countries, such as big pharma, emerging and small biotech, diagnostics companies, pre-seed, seed and Series-A investors, as well as professionals from tech transfer, academia and research institutions. 

As a supporter of BioFIT Ascenion cordially invites all its partners to join this partnering event to take place on 4-5 December 2018 in Lille, France.

Further information:

Learn more!
Preliminary agenda


FDA expands use of Shire’s VONVENDI

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has extended the scope of Shire’s VONVENDI to include perioperative management of bleeding in adults with von Willebrand disease (VWD). The therapy was first approved in the US in December 2015 for on-demand treatment and control of bleeding episodes. It is the first and only recombinant treatment for adults living with VWD, the most common inherited bleeding disorder.

People with VWD either lack sufficient quantities of von Willebrand factor (VWF) or functional VWF, and they may or may not have a secondary factor VIII (FVIII) deficiency. They all face an increased risk of bleeding during surgery. The expanded approval of VONVENDI allows healthcare professionals to apply the factor individually before, during or after surgery, with or without secondary factor VIII, depending on the patient’s specific needs.

VONVENDI relates to a substance patented by the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine Berlin-Buch (MDC) that arose from the work of Prof. Michael Bader and Dr Diego Walter. The scientists investigated serotonin-modulating agents that could be used for the treatment of bleeding disorders, including VWF. Ascenion, the MDC’s technology transfer partner negotiated the licence agreement with industry.


TechnologieAllianz Annual Conference: Launching start-ups

In April, the members of the rapidly growing TechnologieAllianz e.V. teamed up with founders, investors, scientists and politicians for the 3rd TechnologieAllianz Annual Conference. This year’s exchange focused on the question of how tech and life science startups can better succeed. A total of 200 participants shared their experiences and discussed proposals to support start-ups.

A panel moderated by Dr Christian Stein, CEO of Ascenion and member of the board of the TechnologieAllianz, highlighted a topic that regularly leads to intense discussions in practice: Why, when and to what extent should public institutions or their knowledge and technology transfer (KTT) partners take equity in spin-offs? One of the key findings was that research institutions and universities should use shareholdings in conjunction with licensing agreements in order to participate in the value creation of spin-offs without burdening the capital from investors and startups. It is important to create more transparency, e.g. by defining flexible basic conditions and a clear commitment by the institution.

Throughout the various lectures and discussions, participants agreed that startups have a central and growing importance in transferring academic research into real world applications. Therefore, an important role of the KTT partners is to provide professional support to founders and start-up projects, especially in the run-up phase to start-ups.

Further information: Press Release (only in German)


BioVaria 2018 - 'Startup Pitch and Partner' program

This year’s BioVaria was the event in 2018 for early-stage, life-science European startups to connect with investors, with a record number of company founders and investors participating in the revamped and expanded Startup Pitch and Partner program.

15 startups from across Europe attended BioVaria, 10 of which were pre-selected by a jury of top-tier venture capitalists to pitch, compete for awards, receive dedicated expert mentoring and participate in 1:1 speed dating with investors. The startup pitches were moderated by Dr Nadine Sobotzki, Associate, M Ventures, and Dr Dirk Vocke, Associate Director, Innovation & Entrepreneurship Incubator, Merck KGaA, Germany. Four teams walked away with awards in two categories ‘Emerging’ (pre-private financing) and ‘Rising’ (post-private financing). The jury selected Munich-based OPSYON (Emerging) and London-based LIfT Biosciences (Rising) as winners of cash awards. Both ventures focus on cancer immunotherapy. Using the interactive BioVaria app, the audience also voted for Priavoid (Emerging) and VisionHealth (Rising) as their favourite startup pitches of 2018.

“BioVaria is the best startup event I have had the pleasure to attend,” said Alex Blyth, CEO of LIfT Biosciences. “The balance of startups to investors, biotech and big pharma companies was just perfect.”

If you would like to participate in next year’s event, register to receive updates on BioVaria here: www.biovaria.org


Successful Phase I study of Berlin Cures‘ novel treatment against heart failure

Berlin Cures, one of Ascenion’s portfolio companies, has announced positive Phase I results for its lead candidate BC007 for the treatment of heart failure. 68 subjects were evaluated in the clinical study. The candidate was very well tolerated and a single dose was able to completely and sustainably eliminate autoantibodies targeting the beta-1 adrenoceptor. These autoantibodies are present in the majority of heart failure patients and play a crucial role in the development of the disease.

The results confirm the potential of Berlin Cures’ innovative therapeutic concept, which represents the first causal treatment approach to heart failure. The specific elimination of autoantibodies could provide a compelling alternative to expensive and stressful dialysis or cardiac assist devices.

Berlin Cures plans to start a Phase II clinical study of BC007 in the second quarter of 2018.

Further information: Berlin Cures’ press release


11th BioVaria on April 23-24, 2018: Strong line-up of technologies

BioVaria brings together Europe’s top scientists and technology transfer professionals with potential licensees and investors from the international biopharmaceutical industry. Top-tier academic institutions and universities from all over Europe will present over 60 attractive partnering and investment opportunities in the life-science field.

  • Unparalleled density of highly innovative commercial opportunities
  • Topics cover research tools, potential diagnostics and therapeutics in major disease areas
  • 17 technology transfer partners from seven European countries representing about 50 institutions
  • 10 life-science startups from Germany, Czech Republic and the UK participating in this year’s Startup Pitch and Partner event
  • Interactive panel discussion to explore the topic of ‘successful drug development for rare diseases’ moderated by Prof. Horst Domdey (BioM) with expert speakers from Canada, Germany and the Netherlands

Register here www.biovaria.org.

Further information:

Technologies online



Charité BIH Entrepreneurship Summit, Berlin, May 7-8, 2018

Join over 400 experts in medical innovation to discuss global challenges and pioneering technologies in healthcare. During two conference days, you will get access to entrepreneurs, scientists and clinicians, policymakers, investors, and industry leaders.

Our agenda features inspiring keynote speakers from Germany, Europe, Israel, Canada, the United States, and our partner country Australia. Broad-ranging panel discussions on Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain in Healthcare, and Affordability of Medication will provide insights into emerging markets and trends.

Interactive workshops and the Life Sciences Venture Market offer opportunities for entrepreneurs to learn about relevant strategic issues and to present their companies to international investors.

Ascenion is partner of the Charité Entrepreneurship Summit 2018. As member of our network you can save up to 33%. Please contact us!

Find out more about the Summit and register at www.charite-summit.de


Startup Pitch & Partner Application Deadline: 16 February 2018

Don’t miss your chance to secure a spot at BioVaria on 23./24. April 2018 to pitch your company to leading investors and biopharmaceutical decision makers, get invaluable guidance from industry experts in dedicated 1:1 meetings and network with fellow entrepreneurs, including startup keynote speaker Dr. Hella Kohlhof, CSO, Immunic Therapeutics.

European life-science spin-offs and startups can apply online at www.biovaria.org

Learn more!


TechnologieAllianz Annual Conference on 12 April 2018 in Frankfurt

The 3rd TechnologieAllianz Annual Conference will focus on science start-ups and their importance for the future of the German economy. Prominent speakers will explain how knowledge and technology transfer can help entrepreneurs, and introduce the available funding instruments. Further contributions will come from technology transfer experts, company founders, investors and stakeholders representing various sectors.

Register now!

More information


Networked TT: Intensive workshop for Ascenion’s partners

Eye-to-eye networking, acquiring deeper knowledge, sharing experiences, keeping informed about new developments – these are the aims of the TT workshop organized each year by Ascenion exclusively for its partner institutes. This year, 10 participants responsible for technology transfer at various research institutes und universities in Germany and Austria gathered in Munich.

The programme included information on the TT-relevant consequences of Brexit, as well as hands-on tips for drawing up term sheets, negotiating with partners in Asia and acquiring support for start-ups. ‘This is the first time we’ve attended the workshop, and we are extremely impressed by its practical relevance,’ said Dr Peter Josten, Head of the Service Center Research from the Medical University of Innsbruck. ‘Start-ups in particular play an important role for us at present.’ Many participants also appreciated the opportunity for intensive discussions made possible by the small scale of the workshop and the cooperative atmosphere.

We invite all Ascenion’s partners to submit their requests and suggestions for the next workshop in January 2019.


Biotech NetWorkshop – Where founders, experts and investors meet

Biotech NetWorkshop, organized by Ascenion and Max Planck Innovation, offers the opportunity for scientists interested in founding new start-ups to network with experienced founders of more mature life science companies from the Max Planck Society, the Helmholtz Association, the Leibniz Association and the Hanover Medical School.

We are looking forward to a diverse lecture programme with talks on "Financing trends", "Business models and market entry strategies" and "Bridging the gap concepts”. In a panel discussion moderated by Prof. Dr. Horst Domdey, we will focus on two topics "Trends, perspectives and challenges of the Biotech Industry" and later "Digital health". In addition, we will be joined by well-known experts from industry and finance, who will give lectures and discuss these topics. Another highlight will be the presentation from rally driver Jutta Kleinschmidt, one of the most, if not the most successful woman in global motorsport. Jutta will discuss the topic "Challenges" against the background of her athletic career.

For further information:

Full programme

Register now!


Merry Christmas!

Dear Partners and Clients,

We thank you for the enjoyable teamwork over the past year, and wish you and your families a merry Christmas and all the best for 2018.

Instead of sending Christmas cards this year, we have decided to make a donation to the charitable association "Eat to fight your disease e. V.". The project supports patients of the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Butare (CHUB) in Huye, Rwanda.

You can find more information on the project here: www.etfyd.eu.

Your Ascenion Team


Save the date: Next BioVaria on 23-24 April 2018, Munich

BioVaria brings together Europe’s top scientists and technology transfer professionals with potential licensees and investors from the international biopharmaceutical industry.
Top-tier academic institutions and universities from all over Europe will present over 60 attractive partnering and investment opportunities in the life-science field – each one selected for BioVaria in a peer-review process.

2018 will feature a new and expanded program for startups. Selected emerging and rising startups will have the chance to pitch their companies to potential investors. Moreover, the startup teams will receive valuable advice from experienced investors and industry experts, both through the startup-focused keynote and one-on-one mentoring discussions.

The technology presentations at the partner booths - and last but not least the networking evening at the Augustiner-Keller - offer ample opportunity to deepen discussions and initiate collaborations.

The conference is organised by Ascenion and several other technology transfer organisations from all across Europe.

Don’t miss BioVaria 2018! Register now at www.biovaria.org


Welcome to the team!

Dr Ansgar Santel joined our Berlin office as Technology Development Manager in November 2017. He brings 15 years’ experience in the international biotech industry to the team, and in particular his expertise and enthusiasm for the translational development of innovative therapies. As Senior Scientist Translational & Clinical Research in a German-English biotech company, he advanced a novel RNAi-therapy from its conception through to clinical testing. A further focus of his work was the initiation and management of research alliances between industry and academia. Together with his colleagues at Ascenion, he will use this experience to effectively support scientists at Ascenion’s partner institutes during the application-oriented development of their research projects.

Ansgar studied biology at the Phillips-Universität, Marburg, Germany, where he also gained a PhD in molecular biology, before spending four years as a postdoctoral fellow at the Stanford University School of Medicine, Palo Alto, USA.