ICVS researcher’s start-up Karion Therapeutics won the Arqus European Innovation Award

Start-up Karion Therapeutics, funded by ICVS researcher’s Marta Costa and Fátima Baltazar, dedicated to an innovative treatment for aggressive cancers, is the winner of the Arqus International Innovators Award.

The competition involved seven innovative young companies nominated by each partner academy of the Arqus European University Alliance (Granada, Leipzig, Maynooth, Minho, Padua, Vilnius, Wroclaw). Voting took place online and counted with more than 700 people from all over Europe. The announcement of the winning project took place at the Born Global Start-up Festival, in Germany, which brings together several hundred academics, entrepreneurs and guests.

“It is an honor to win this award, especially considering the quality of the competing projects. We thank everyone who voted and who believed in this work”, says researcher Marta Costa, who is at Karion Therapeutics with Fátima Baltazar, Fernanda Proença and Teresa Dias Coelho. The project brings together the know-how of the UMinho Schools of Medicine and Science. Last year, the team also won the SpinUM, UI-CAN and Bluepharma/University of Coimbra innovation awards, and was also a finalist in the Stage Two Tech Innovation European competition.

The team’s goal is to develop their new drug candidate for aggressive cancers. This drug candidate has a different mode of action from existing drugs in the clinic, a highly effective and safe profile, and may increase the survival of cancer patients and improve their quality of life.

The Arqus International Innovators Award (formerly known as the Virtual Company Creation Challenge) is one of the Alliance’s initiatives to identify and encourage university-based start-ups planning internationalization. This annual award, already in its fourth edition, allows start-ups to present business models in order to support their visibility and networking at European level. This action is part of the “Arqus Linking Local Ecosystems” group, co-led by the universities of Leipzig and Minho, which aims to transfer knowledge and technology between local ecosystems, contributing to regional and European innovation strategies.