The European Commission is awarding nearly €36 million to 16 innovative projects under the fourth round of the Fast Track to Innovation (FTI) scheme, run under the EU’s research and innovation programme Horizon 2020.
The 16 projects involve 72 partners in 16 countries to help bring their innovation on the market faster. Among them is FASTInov.
The spin-off from the University of Porto was founded in 2013 by an experienced team of professionals in the clinical microbiology area, that developed a technology that reduces the time to obtain an Antimicrobial Susceptibility Tests (AST) from 48 hours to less than 2h.
Their product, FAST-bact, is revolutionary not only because it reduces testing time, but also because it doesn’t depend on the growth of microorganisms. FAST methodology provides the susceptibility profile in clinically useful time and clarifies the main resistance mechanism involved:
After an hour we can distinguish cells that were killed by the antibiotic from the ones that are still replicating, when compared to the two days required in classical microbiology.
Cidalia Pina Vaz, CEO and co-founder
According to Sofia Costa de Oliveira, CSO and Co-Founder, the product represents enormous advantages:
A more focused treatment can be established and broad spectrum antibiotic treatments will be avoided, which decreases the likelihood of resistance. The hospital costs can be also reduced because hospitalization terms will be reduced after more effective treatments are followed.
In September 2015, Fast Track received a round of investment led by ES Ventures, with ISTART-I fund investing €300.000 and BusyAngels co-investing €150.000.
The company that now employs 5 people, aims at reaching the market in 3 years.
The FTI scheme was launched in January 2015. This fourth round of the scheme attracted a total of 263 project proposals involving 1157 participants by its cut-off date of 15 March 2016.