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Bernese start-up AlveoliX wins the Swiss Medtech Award 2022

Wednesday 15 June 2022

According to the jury, AlveoliX’s miniature lung has the potential to replace animal testing and advance personalized medicine. | © Swiss Medtech

On the occasion of the 2022 edition of the Swiss Medtech Day, AlveoliX won the highly coveted award for its small-scale replica of the human lung.

The Swiss Medtech Day is Switzerland’s medical technology industry’s most important event, with over 550 attendees. On the occasion of its 2022 edition, Bernese start-up AlveoliX was awarded the Swiss Medtech Award, which includes prize money for a total of CHF 75,000.

Founded in 2019, AlveoliX has created a small-scale replica of the human lung called "Lung-on-Chip" that can also mimic respiratory motions. According to the jury, this organ-on-chip technology has the potential to establish itself as the new standard in preclinical drug development, as a leading alternative to animal testing, and to significantly advance personalized medicine.

The lung-on-chip model simulates the microenvironment of the lung, including its respiratory movements. A thin, porous membrane facilitates the cultivation of human lung cells under extremely realistic physiological conditions. In this natural environment, cells react as they would in the human body.

"Our technology increases the efficiency and safety of drug development and enables more personalized testing by using cells from each individual patient on the chip. In the future, our technology will help to reduce costs, as well as animal testing," said Janick Stucki, co-CEO of AlveoliX. "We are already collaborating with large pharmaceutical companies who are using our technology to test their drugs in development. We then compare the results of our chip with existing data from preclinical and clinical studies."

Medtech, an industry of immense importance in Switzerland

As Head of the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research, Federal Councillor and key speaker Guy Parmelin underlined the immense importance of the medtech industry for Switzerland: "The approximately 1,400 companies and 63,000 employees generated a turnover of CHF 18 billion, 12 billion of which came from exports. The medtech industry benefits from supportive and reliable framework conditions in Switzerland; in particular, highly qualified specialists, concentrated hubs of research and innovation, and access to a thriving capital market."

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