#5 – Transforming diagnostics through spatial biology – Déborah Heintze – Lunaphore
Transforming our understanding of how our immune system works and how certain pathologies like cancer unfold: that is the mission to which Lunaphore has committed since 2014.
Through a cutting-edge platform capable of accelerating complex staining and imaging procedures, the Swiss startup is pioneering what is now named “spatial biology”, recognized by the journal Nature as Method of the Year 2020.
Applicable to many disease areas, the field carries great hopes in bringing to light new insights that will accelerate drug discovery and drive the development of personalized therapies in the long run. Its power resides in the possibility to analyze multiple biomarkers in parallel, while preserving the spatial properties of the tissue studied.
Alongside Ata Tuna Ciftlik and Diego Dupouy, Déborah Heintze is one of the three co-founders of Lunaphore. She joined the adventure soon after the completion of her curriculum in biomedical engineering, the same day that an offer was made to her by a large company for a position that would have been synonymous with stability and comfort from the outset. The gamble paid off, as she now leads as Chief Marketing Officer the product and marketing efforts of the startup, which has been recognized many times as one of the most innovative and promising emerging companies in the Swiss ecosystem.
She takes us through the origins of the project, explaining how the opportunity to co-found the startup arose, how the technology they developed functions, and how spatial biology will revolutionize the way we understand immunology and the promises it holds in the fight against many diseases.
- 01:50 – Déborah’s background and evolution within Lunaphore since its creation
- 04:48 – How Lunaphore emerged from a PhD thesis
- 06:49 – How the opportunity co-found a startup emerged
- 10:22 – What the technology from Lunaphore is about
- 12:27 – Paving the way of spatial biology for diagnostic purposes
- 16:48 – The promise that spatial biology holds in our understanding of pathologies like cancer and how Lunaphore is supporting it
- 20:04 – The features and functioning of LabSat® and COMET™
- 22:50 – Dealing with the analysis of large pathology data volumes
- 25:24 – Transitioning from research applications to clinical ones
- 27:50 – Deploying LabSat® and COMET™ in labs while making sure the onboarding remains flawless for users
- 29:29 – The time and efforts required to build these platforms from scratch up to their market launch
- 33:37 – Moving towards new applications and disease areas
- 35:08 – How the technology from Lunaphore is transforming the staining and imaging workflows from labs
- 38:39 – Evolving as a woman in the medical technology entrepreneurial sphere
What we also talked about with Déborah :
- EPFL Technology Transfer Office
- Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology
- Spatial biology
- Sophia Genetics
We cited with Déborah some of the past episodes from “Impulse – Meeting Healthcare Pioneers”:
If you want to know more about Lunaphore, we invite you to consult their website.
As mentioned in the episode, we strongly recommend you to check out their blog which aims to democratize spatial biology and all of its aspects in a simple yet informative manner.
We also invite you to follow their activities on LinkedIn or through their newsletter (subscription link available through the company website).
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