As part of Horizon 2020, the European Union (EU) is supporting, among other things, innovative ideas proposed by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). In the first phase of the program, Pregnolia had already received around 55,000 francs. Now, however, a press release issued by Pregnolia has revealed that it received a grant of 1.4 million francs as part of the second phase. A total of 78 start-ups from 1,765 applicants overall were chosen to receive a grant in this phase. According to the information available, the European Commission took into account the technical, commercial, regulatory and financial aspects of each project in making their decision.
Pregnolia is developing a device that offers a reliable indication of the risk of premature birth by using a probe to measure cervical stability in mothers-to-be. If the reading indicates weakness here, the doctor is able to take therapeutic measures at an early stage. Pregnolia’s innovation has been being trialled by a handful of doctors in Switzerland since April 2019. The first “Pregnolia baby” was born in June, as reported by the company’s founder, Sabrina Badir, in an interview with investiere.ch.
Badir intends to put the EU grant to good use by driving forward development of the device and cutting production costs. Pregnolia is also seeking authorization from the FDA, the US healthcare authority. The goal is to prepare for entry into the mass market. However, clinical trials will still be conducted during this process. Furthermore, Badir is planning for another round of financing this year. Previously, the start-up successfully concluded a round of seed funding back in December 2017.
Pregnolia is a spin-off affiliated to the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH) with its headquarters in Schlieren.