Two CUHK start-up teams in the top 10 of 2022 Start-up Express
Two start-ups founded by members of The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), EggLogics and Beth Bioinformatics, were in the top 10 winners of the 5th Start-up Express, an entrepreneurship development programme organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC). EggLogics also received the prestigious AMTD SpiderNet Award in the Pitching Final. The award aims to provide the winner with a rare opportunity to access the resources and network of the AMTD SpiderNet ecosystem, which was pioneered by AMTD to maximise ecological network effects and enable knowledge exchange, synergistic collaboration and value creation.
EggLogics (egglogics.com) is a clinical-stage biotech start-up specialising in human infertility solutions. It was founded by five CUHK professors from the School of Biomedical Sciences, the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, the Institute for Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine (iTERM) and the Department of Biomedical Engineering. Its cross-disciplinary research has successfully secured funding from Collaborative Research and General Research Funds (CRF/GRF) and led to the development of first-in-class human oocyte treatment (EggBoost) and quality assessment (EggCheck). EggBoost helps produce more usable eggs for In-Vitro Fertilisation (IVF), while EggCheck provides the first gene-based oocyte quality assessment. The technology is expected to improve IVF success rates and significantly reduce pain and cost. To translate and commercialise these impactful solutions, the team subsequently received start-up funding from the Technology Start-up Support Scheme for Universities (TSSSU) and the Incu-Bio programme provided by the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP), and private investors.
“Generally speaking, the overall success rate of IVF is less than 40%. For women over 35, the chance of success is even lower. The goal of EggLogics is to bring new hope to infertile families with ‘EggCellent’ technology,” said Professor Lee Tin-lap, Founder and Chairman of EggLogics and Associate Professor in CUHK’s School of Biomedical Sciences.
Beth Bioinformatics (BethBio, www.bethbio.com) is a biotech company that provides a series of innovative solutions for pharmaceutical companies to empower the development of new and better vaccines. It was founded by two CUHK professors from the Jockey Club School of Public Health and Primary Care. The team also includes seven postgraduate students from the School. BethBio’s signature technology predicts virus evolution, and is applicable to many viruses, including SARS-CoV-2 and influenza. The technology enables the company to develop better vaccine candidates that are more resilient against future viral mutations and provide stronger immunity protection against circulating viruses. Experiments have shown that BethBio’s vaccine candidates can improve the effectiveness of seasonal influenza vaccines by 4-40%.
BethBio’s other major technology is real-time vaccine effectiveness estimation in-silico, which can help health authorities around the world formulate COVID-19 control strategies and monitor the latest pandemic developments. This can facilitate pharmaceutical companies’ evaluation of new booster candidates and optimise the design of clinical trials.
Professor Maggie Wang Haitian, Founder of BethBio and Associate Professor in the Jockey Club School of Public Health and Primary Care at CUHK, said, “Here at BethBio, we work hard to improve genome interpretation and provide key bioinformatics solutions for the development of better therapeutics.”
Both award-winning teams are currently mentored by the Venture Acceleration team at CUHK’s Office of Research and Knowledge Transfer Services. Please click here for more information on CUHK entrepreneurship support.
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