OneStart | Blog
Announcing the 80 OneStart 2016 Semi-Finalists

Daniel Perez - CEO, Oxbridge Biotech Roundtable (OBR) and Jess Sutcliffe - Marketing and Communications Director, OBR

SAN FRANCISCO & LONDON - OneStart is the world’s largest accelerator for startups seeking to dramatically improve human health. This year the number of startups applying rose to 750 from over 50 countries, split equally between the 4 main technology sectors: therapeutics, diagnostics, devices and digital health / health IT.

Over the past fortnight the OneStart judges tackled this challenge head on. Representatives from SR One (the corporate venture capital arm of GSK, who co-founded OneStart with the Oxbridge Biotech Roundtable), Johnson & Johnson Innovation, Takeda Ventures, Bristol-Myers Squibb, AstraZeneca, Teva Pharmaceuticals Inc., Boehringer Ingelheim and Amgen diligently reviewed each and every entry.

We are proud to announce that 80 teams from 17 countries (the top-10%) have made it to the second round of OneStart (click here for the Europe semi-finalists and here for Americas semi-finalists).

OneStart Americas 2016

OneStart Europe 2016

Due to the increase not only in the number but the quality of the 2016 applications it was chosen to expand our semi-finalist cohort to 80 teams (up from 70 in prior years), with 40 each from the European and Americas streams.

“What a competitive field of young scientifically-minded entrepreneurs – innovation is alive and well! It certainly has become more and more difficult and challenging to nominate the semi-finalists for the OneStart Boot Camp since the overall quality of the applicant pool seems to rise year after year,” 

adds Dr. Jens Eckstein President of SR One

As OneStart is committed to mentoring as many startups as possible - in early Jan 2016 each team will be matched with 2-3 industry executives who will work with them over the next several months. These industry experts are sourced from the established OneStart partner network and other accomplished firms or institutions that lead the life sciences industry. They include C-suite executives in biotech, pharma, and VC partners (see our mentors here).

Mentors provide highly valued 1-on-1 advice and guidance that will allow each of the semi-finalists to further develop and improve their business plans. Emphasis will also be placed upon the art of the pitch. An integral skill required for any young innovator when seeking financial backing.

Moreover, each of our top-80 teams are invited to an exclusive and impactful Business Bootcamp, a 2-day mini MBA that brings together all semi-finalist teams and mentors. Seminars range from navigating the funding landscape to assessing value and intellectual property. The bootcamps will be held at UCSF and the University of London, respectively.

Dan Perez founder and CEO of OBR / OneStart adds,

"Each year the caliber of our startups goes up and up, and this year is no different. We can’t wait to welcome the 2016 class, and help them move their ideas forward."

The success of the OneStart programme speaks for itself. Teams have gone on to secure over $50M in follow-on funding. Earlier this month Desktop Genetics who took part in the European stream of the programme back in 2014 confirmed investment from Illumina. Whilst in the Americas stream, EpiBiome, a 2013 semi-finalist recently secured funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to develop tools for the improvement of infant gut health. And earlier this week Neural Analytics, a 2014 OneStart team closed their $10M Series A, bringing their total funding to $13M. 

OneStart would like to congratulate all 2016 semi-finalists. But also encourage to those who were unsuccessful this time around not to be disheartened but to continue their bio-entrepreneurial journey. Indeed, for nearly 1/3rd of the teams this is their second time applying to OneStart – and some were previously semi-finalists in 2014 or 2015, coming back after achieving notable progress. 

This is echoed by Dr. Lynne Murray, a OneStart mentor responsible for Partner and Strategy at MedImmune the worldwide biologics division of AstraZeneca,

"I'm really excited about this years OneStart competition. The applications were excellent and it was challenging picking the semi finalists.  If you weren't selected but are still keen for next year, then I'd encourage you to not get too disheartened but speak to those in your personal network about any advice they may have in changing anything for re-submission.

For those that have been successful-well done! I look forward to meeting you all at the Bootcamp and over the course of the competition. Bring plenty of enthusiasm and an open mind, so you're receptive to new ways of thinking. And don't be shy to challenge any opinions. The ultimate decision on your final business model comes down to you, so take everything on board but form your own position.

Good luck to all!"

The 20 finalists will be selected in mid April. The winner of the European and Americas will be announced at the respective Finals Galas to be held in London on 16th and Boston on 26th May. Each winning team will be awarded a grand prize of £100/$150k, free lab space and continued support and guidance.

OneStart would not be possible without the support of its partners who are integral to the program's success and continuation.  

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Go to Europe semifinalists

OneStart Americas 2016 Semi-finalists

AlloOnc  Kansas City, United States.

Our smart anticancer therapeutic targets metastases that cause 90%+ of cancer mortalities yet most cancer drugs ignore. 

Angiograft LLC – Buffalo, United States.

Off-the-shelf acellular tissue engineered vessels suitable as arterial/venous replacement grafts.

Artveoli Santa Barbara, United States.

We improve air quality by converting CO2 to Oxygen with indoor systems using microfluidic technology.

Astraeus Technologies: Lung Cancer Breath Sensor – Boston, United States.

We are creating an inexpensive, portable, accurate breath analysis device that will transform lung cancer screening.

BioTuring San Diego, United States.

BioTuring: An intelligent, interactive and cloud-based framework for high-throughput sequencing analysis.

BreatheIn: Stable Vaccine CarrierAlberquerque, United States.

A Universal Dry Powder Vaccine Delivery System that is Temperature Stable and Suitable for Pulmonary Delivery.

CaviTestCambridge, United States.

CaviTest is the world's first home use test for cavities. We detect cavities while they're still reversible.

Cayuga Biotech Inc.Santa Barbara, United States.

Cayuga Biotech has developed a novel intravenous agent that accelerates clotting in hemorrhage patients.

Circumvent Pharmaceuticals. – Pasadena, United States.

Development of Small Molecule Drugs for INCL and Thioesterase Deficiency Disorders

D&P Innovations – San Diego, United States.

We are developing an implantable, bioresorbable medical device to regenerate a damaged esophagus.

Daeki – Santiago, Chile.

Daeki is a product that offers a unique way to measure cholesterol levels using only saliva with a home test.

Dynamic Boundaries Inc. – Ithaca, United States.

Our mission is to provide an effective treatment for osteoarthritis, one of the most prevalent and debilitating diseases.

eleven:eleven – Waterloo, Canada.

Breaking boundaries of paralysis and enabling people to move beyond their limits.

Empire BiotechnologiesSan Francisco, United States.

Developing the first orally delivered platform therapeutic for the many debilitating diseases of malabsorption.

HeraldCambridge, United States.

Herald makes health care safer by offering clinicians real-time access to data exactly when and how they want it.

Imperium Biotechnologies  Dallas, United States.

Imperium produces novel, programmable pharmaceuticals that selectively kill cells on the basis of mRNA fingerprints.

InBraceHuntingdon Beach, United States.

Behind-the-teeth, shape memory orthodontic solution w/ effectiveness of standard braces and comfort/ease of Invisalign.

KIT: Kidney Injury TestSan Francisco, United States.

We are developing a non-invasive, cost-effective, portable diagnostic device for kidney transplant rejection monitoring.

Lelantus MedicalPalo Alto, United States.

Imagine you have a suspicious lesion in your lung, but no one can diagnose it. We have the solution.

Jungla  Stanford, United States.

We are advancing companion and molecular diagnostics with a next-generation molecular function engine. 

MetNiche Washington, DC United States.

MetNiche is a ground-breaking, diagnostic tool to accurately quantify metastatic risk in newly diagnosed cancer patients.

Movease New York City, United States.

Hyaluronidase for stiffness in spastic patients.

NERv Waterloo, Canada.

NERv is developing an implantable biochip designed to detect post-operative complications.

NovaSight – Halifax, Canada.

We developed a novel therapy to treat a childhood blinding disorder found in the Maritimes and throughout the world.

OncoFluidicsSan Diego, United States.

Increased predictability of the clinical efficacy of oncology drug candidates with our flow-based 3D human tumor system.

OstoCareNew York, United States.

OstoCare is developing a unique, high-tech, and non-intrusive method for ostomy patients to manage their ostomy waste.

OvodexHouston, United States.

Ovodex, accelerating cancer research and discovery, one egg at a time.

Palisade Therapeutics – Berkley, United States.

We identify the earliest stages of neurological disease and deploy new drugs to prevent pathology before it starts.

PathoVaxBaltimore, United States.

RGVax is a universal HPV vaccine that prevents all HPV disease with a cost-effective and established platform.

Qidni Labs Inc.Waterloo, Canada.

We work on implantable artificial kidneys for nearly three million patients with End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD).

QuiONew York, United States.

The first medical Smart Injector for eliminating self-injection errors and improving medication adherence.

Sagacere TherapeuticsToronto, Canada.

A promising treatment for primary progressive multiple sclerosis with neuroprotective and regenerative properties.

Selective Brain Cooling TechnologyLondon, Canada.

A non-invasive, portable and inexpensive system for cooling the brain selectively.

Suono Bio Cambridge, United States.

Suono Bio is developing first-in-class devices for the ultra-rapid delivery of therapeutics to the GI tract.

Synergyan Tempe, United States.

WelSeal rapid and robust stitch-less sealing of soft tissue ruptures / trauma, improving healing and comfort to patients.

Telo Therapeutics Inc.San Francisco, United States.

We have a precision medicine approach to reversing cell immortality selectively in cancer cells.

The Malaria Avengers New York City, United States.

Development of species-selective HSP90 inhibitors as novel drugs against malaria and its uprising resistance.

Wickit MedicalStanford, United States.

Wickit is an effective, low-cost solution to VAP, a lethal, hospital-acquired infection costing US healthcare $25B/year.

xRas Therapeutics – San Francisco, United States.

We are developing recombinant antibodies to eradicate RAS, the oncoprotein implicated in over 1/3 of all human cancers.

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OneStart Europe 2016 Semi-finalists

AIomics Cambridge, United Kingdom.

Artificial Intelligence for translating Omics data into new medicine.

AURA Innovative RoboticsMadrid, Spain.

An innovative, portable, non-invasive and cost efficient diagnosing device for neurological and mental disorders.

Aurora Life Sciences Göteborg, Sweden.

Using systems biology to deliver ultimate cancer biomarkers.

BioEclosion S.L. Barcelona, Spain. 

Celifast, a rapid, quantitative and highly predictive diagnostic test for celiac disease at point of care.


BoneRegen is a non-invasive novel bone graft solution that heals bone defects faster and safer.

BPL Therapeutics Adelaide, Australia.

BPL Therapeutics is developing novel antibiotics to avoid a superbug-lead catastrophe.

Cambridge Bio-Augmentation Systems Ltd.Cambridge, United Kingdom.

The USB port for prostheses: a low-cost, standardised connector enabling mass adoption of high functionality bionics.

Captain T Cell Berlin, Germany.

Providing next generation T cell receptors for cancer immunotherapy.

Cellibero - London, United Kingdom. 

Cell-free engineering of synthetic microvesicle-exosome libraries for use as personalised anti-cancer therapeutics.

CellSpring AGZürich, Switzerland.

Rapid, reproducible, and versatile, our 3D Bloom® platform represents the next level in 3D cell culture.

DJS Antibodies Oxford, United Kingdom.

DJS Antibodies is using a breakthrough technology to discover new medicines against currently untreatable diseases.

Eira Biotech Aarhus, Denmark / Melbourne, Australia.

Bypassing the blood-brain barrier with customisable nanocarriers, delivering therapeutics to otherwise inaccessible biological site.

ENIGMA Istanbul, Turkey. 

We are solving the painful blood sampling process with an earpiece which tracks vitals with light.

Eonia TherapeuticsCambridge, United Kingdom.

Small molecules that promote T-cell memory formation.

FoodMarble Dublin, Ireland.

We are developing a connected device to help people discover what foods are compatible with their digestive system. 

GeneAdviserCambridge, United Kingdom.

An online platform for clinicians to find and order genetic tests, aiming to boost the uptake of genomic medicine.

GlucAWell Singapore.

Awareness, wellness, prevention platform with 2 patents for wearable non-invasive continuous glucose monitoring.

GlykoGen Aberdeen, United Kingdom.

GlykoGen seeks to develop anti-glycan antibodies using a novel and innovative process to meet a need in cancer therapy.

gripAble London, United Kingdom.

gripAble: A low-cost, highly-motivating technology providing mobile rehabilitation for individuals with arm disability.


Haemagen aims to employ cell engineering technology to create GMP-compatible red blood cells for transfusion.

Hemule Berlin, Germany.

We create multi-organ-on-a-chip platform - a reliable, fast and affordable alternative to conventional testing methods.

Hera Biotech London, United Kingdom.

Reducing side effects of current anti-epileptics via selective targeting of affected brain regions using nanoparticles.

HomoGeneKO  Heidelberg Germany.

Using the CRISPR/Cas9 system, we aim to develop a screening array-based platform, which targets conserved genes simultaneously. 

ITAM Pharma – Padova, Italy.

Merging the gold anticancer properties with the targeting & chemoprotecting action of ad hoc functionalized biomolecules.

Koala - London, United Kingdom. 

The Koala pendant is the respiratory health monitoring device for patients with COPD. 

LabGeniusLondon, United Kingdom.

LabGenius’ platform for optimising antibody discovery enables pharma companies to develop better therapies faster.

LuminAccuracy – London, United Kingdom.

Ultrasensitive plasmonic biosensor device for early diagnosis of cancer.

MedEXO RoboticsOxford, United Kingdom.

We aim at developing fashionable, lightweight, portable, public affordable, multifunction exoskeleton for rehabilitation.

MIIRDyagno Mumbai, India.

A novel, non-invasive, diagnostic device for cardiovascular patients to reduce pre-hospitalization delay and save lives.

NGDetectors: GonioProbe Rome, Italy.

Goniometric gamma probe for radio-guided surgery able to provide full 3D spatial information and high resolution.

Organ Print Pohang, Republic of Korea.

In vivo-like human in vitro organ model using 3D bioprinting technology for new drug development and discovery.

Oxford Pepbody Therapeutics Team Oxford, United Kingdom.

Novel cancer immunotherapy using Pepbody, a new antibody-drug conjugate.

OxTherapeuticsOxford, United Kingdom.

Combating inflammation: neutrophil elastase inhibitor treats rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory pulmonary conditions.

Regenesis Holon, Israel.

Autologus iPSC based organs for human transplants.

Reproomics Oxford, United Kingdom.

Reproomics improves the outcome of assisted reproduction treatments by measuring protein biomarkers of embryo competence.

S-Biomedic Magdeburg, Germany.

Our live biotherapeutics are the future in dermatology and cosmetic industry.

snap40Edinburgh, United Kingdom.

snap40 aim to prevent avoidable acute patient health deteriorations, in hospital and in the community.

TendonRegen Singapore.

TendonRegen is a novel synthetic graft designed to regenerate damaged tendons or ligaments, and restore full function.

Teitur Bio – Aarhus, Denmark.

We introduce a potential target for the treatment of what is currently known as treatment resistant depression.

Violet CellOxford, United Kingdom.

We are making an accessible and cost-effective cell therapy device for treating liver failure.


Notes for Editors

Interviews available with the CEO on request – please contact Jessica Sutcliffe on


About Oxbridge Biotech Roundtable (OBR)

OxbridgeBiotech Roundtable was founded in 2011 with the aim of creating better ties between academia and industry.  This is achieved through encouraging enhanced communication and consultancy between the two sectors, with a 30,000 strong network of academic and industrial professionals. 


About SR One™

SR One is the independent corporate healthcare venture capital fund of GlaxoSmithKline(GSK). Founded in 1985 they have invested over $830MM into the biotechnology sector, with a 35 strong public and private portfolio, investing globally in companies that will have a significant impact on medical care.


About OneStart

OneStart is the world’s largest life sciences and healthcare startup accelerator programme. Founded in 2012 it aims to encourage entrepreneurship among young and disruptive healthcare innovators. Applications are open to all, from early to more developed businesses,whose idea focuses on improving human healthcare, irrespective of the type of technology. Participation is limited to individuals under the age of 36 and companies who have not raised more than £160,000 in dilutive funding.