LAB+ finances 4 Uruguayan scientific start-ups

LAB+ presented this Thursday the closing of its first round of capitalization and the first four start-ups that will be financed with this fund. Each will receive US$ 750,000 for a two-year term.

The objective of LAB+ is to support scientists with disruptive ideas in medicine, biology and technology, aimed at improving the welfare of humans, animals and the environment, so that they can be transformed into sustainable international companies.

The start-ups funded with this first round of capitalization are Guska (created by Gonzalo Moratorio and Pilar Moreno), B4RNA (by Juan Pablo Tosar), Scaffold Biotech (Agustín Correa and Matías Machado) and LoCBio (Felipe Trajtenberg).

Guska works with oncolytic viruses to design treatments that can more specifically fight cancer cells without affecting healthy ones. B4RNA, meanwhile, proposes to develop a new diagnostic methodology for the early detection of cancer, through a new type of RNA molecules and the development of a method to detect them in biological fluids.

On the other hand, Scaffold Biotech applies artificial intelligence to the design of new molecules in order to create more effective vaccines; the start-up seeks solutions to problems of great impact for agriculture, such as ticks. LoCBio proposes to reprogram cells to perform specific tasks and, for example, to develop biotherapeutic products to combat colorectal cancer.

“The LAB+ aims to be a virtuous space for the transformation and valorization of scientific-technological knowledge that, emerging from science, allows the creation of world-class scientific-technological based companies,” said Carlos Batthyány, director of the institute and head of LAB+, during the event.

“In addition, it is intended to be a proof of concept that Uruguay can also rely on science to start growing at rates comparable to those of the first world, to start converging and not to continue distancing itself from developed countries,” he highlighted.

Alicia Bentancor, director of Administration and Finance of IP Montevideo, and Paul Elberse, CEO of the investment bank Ficus Advisory, also spoke at the event; both participate in the administration of the LAB+.

Uruguayan president, Luis Lacalle Pou; the Minister of Industry, Energy, and Mining, Elisa Facio; representatives of ANII (Agencia Nacional de Investigación e Innovación), IDB, Uruguay Innovation Hub, OPP, Universidad de la República, and other authorities attended the event.

Discursos durante evento