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Call for Proposals

For the 2020 cohort of the program, we will be looking to receive proposals from applicants in relation to one of the three following challenges:

Open Date:

3/11/2020

Deadline for Submission:

09/12/2020 at 20:00 (Israel Time Zone) 

The Challenges:

Cancer - Pressing Challenges

#1 – Next generation diagnostic testing supporting dynamic cancer treatment:

  •   The Challenge/Need:  Chemotherapy remains the prevailing treatment for cancer patients. While the drug (or combination of drugs) used may be effective, too many patients, too often, dropout of their treatment regime due to their individual response to the treatment (e.g. side effects, toxicity). The efficacy of the treatment can therefore not be the end-all-be-all decision factor, and there is a strong need for tolerance markers to optimize the right treatment schedule for each individual patient over time.
 
  • What we are looking for: Tools that will enable a holistic view that maximizes treatment effect and tolerance (i.e. tolerance related to treatment specificities), for the individual patient during his or her disease continuum. These tools/markers will enable the treating physician to optimize the balance between survival and quality of life, predict adverse events and their severity, enabling pre-medication in certain cases. Our focus is on finding the best parameters that can predict tolerance of treatment in one or more of the top 4 cancers (lung, breast, colorectal and prostate). The desired solution will be able to direct us to the optimal long-term treatment, taking into account long and short-term effects.

Digital Pathology - Pressing Challenges#2 – Digital & Computational Pathology:

  • The Challenge/Need:  Traditional pathology is undergoing a transformative change, transitioning from microscope-based diagnostics into the digital age. Computational pathology holds a great promise to inform a better treatment for cancer patients, in terms of accuracy, efficiency and predictive value. However, it is relying on large datasets of pathology slides to enable sufficiently accurate AI-training that captures all required features and rare forms of cancer.  This limitation is particularly problematic where datasets are limited but there is a real need for robust computational tools.
  • What we are looking for: Technological approaches (e.g. synthetic data) that overcome the above mentioned limitations and allow training, in a scalable manner, of highly accurate AI algorithms for all cancer tissue types, regardless of dataset size, with the ability to detect and analyze a multitude of features (i.e. not just Y/N cancer).

Antimicrobial Resistance - Pressing ChallengesTopic #3 – Antimicrobial Resistance:

  • The Challenge/Need: Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) threatens the effective prevention and treatment of an ever-increasing range of infections caused by bacteria, parasites, viruses and fungi. Current methods used for analyzing the infection, prescribing the type of antibiotic and predicting response efficacy, suffer from various shortcomings, including low prediction rate, long lead-time, technical and pricing limitations. There is thus a need for tests that can predict in a timely manner which patient is going to respond well to which antibiotic and when could we stop the treatment.
  • What we are looking for: clinical decision-support for early antibiotic recommendations based on immunological/pharmacological patterns that account for host-response profiles for different subsets of pathogens and different antibiotics. This will enable us to quickly predict whether (i) the infection is bacterial or not, (ii) a treatment is needed or if the infection can resolve by itself and (iii) a specific antibiotic has higher efficacy probability than others, and what will be the optimal treatment duration.

Program Details:

Program Description:

StarFinder is an exclusive innovation program for entrepreneurs to execute ‘Proof of Concept’ (POC) digital health projects based on validated  Healthcare market needs. Established in 2020 by Roche and aMoon Fund, this unique early stage program is aimed at identifying exceptional Israeli entrepreneurs who are addressing pressing global health challenges. 

Selected entrepreneurs will receive funding to develop their “Proof of Concept” based on data from Israeli HMOs and/or hospitals, mentoring, unparalleled access to leading global expertise from within Roche and aMoon, personal office space at aMoon’s offices, and more. StarFinder Lab will launch one cohort per year, each cohort will be made of 3 elected ventures centered each around a specific challenge.  

Criteria:

Applicants must be either: (i) Israeli entrepreneurs (ii) Israeli researchers / practicing professionals in an academic institution or a healthcare organization or (iii) a registered and operating company in Israel (“Existing Company”). In the case of (i) or (ii) above, a designated company registered and operating in Israel will need to be incorporated ahead of commencing the program. In the case of (iii) above, the Existing Company or the shareholders thereof may be required to incorporate a new company, registered and operating in Israel, designated to participate in the program.

The proposed project will be evaluated based on a variety of parameters, including (but not limited to): quality and strength of the team; potential for market disruption; innovation excellence; technological feasibility to reach a POC within 9 months and the allotted budget, relying on the use of data and AI; value to patients and healthcare (outcomes and costs).

 

Funding:

Each venture will receive $125K from each of aMoon and Roche under a certain funding framework. 

 

Application Process:

The application process has five phases:

First Phase – by [9/12/2020]: submission of applications through StarFinder website

Second Phase – by [6-7/1/2021]:first round pitch for shortlisted companies

Third Phase – by [20-21/1/2021]: second round pitch for pre-selected companies

Fourth Phase – by  [28/1/2021]: pre – announcement for cohort 1 companies

Fifth Phase – by [18/2/2021]: execution of definitive documents 

Certain Terms: 

Please read carefully all the terms and conditions of this call for proposals before submitting an application. Submission of applications in response to this call for proposals are made under the sole responsibility of the applicants and at their own risk.

By submitting an application,  each applicant: (i) accepts the terms and conditions of this call for proposals (as described herein and as may amended from time to time), (ii) accepts the terms of use of the StarFinder’s website (located at: https://www.starfinderlab.com/, the “Website”) and the use of the website for submitting the application, (iii) acknowledges that participation in the program is conditioned upon the execution of definitive documentation with aMoon and Roche, which contain additional terms, (iv) warrants that neither it, nor any shareholder thereof have any conflict of interest or suspicion of conflict of interest, of any type and kind whatsoever, in connection with the application to and participation in the program. Each applicant further undertakes to bring to the attention of the program leader any information that may be relevant to determine as to whether an applicant has or is suspected of having a conflict of interest as stated above. 

It is strongly advised to apply sufficiently in advance of the deadline for submission. For the avoidance of doubt, it is clarified that no applications will be accepted after the deadline for submission.

We reserve the right, at any time at our sole discretion: (i) to change or cancel this call for proposals or any of the terms thereof, (ii) to change, suspend or cancel the program or the challenges. Any changes or notices with respect to suspension or cancellation will be published on the website. Applicants are advised to regularly check the website. By applying to the program each applicant gives its consent to such changes, suspension or cancellation in advance. Such changes, suspension or cancellation are without entitlement to compensation. you acknowledge and confirm that you are aware that we define the challenges at our sole discretion. 

By applying to the Program you confirm that you lawfully own all Intellectual Property Rights (“IPRs”) included in your application and that to the best of your knowledge at the time of the application, your participation does not infringe any third party’s IPRs. You are responsible for obtaining any and all necessary permissions from third parties to use their IPRs in your application. We reserve the right to disclose your identity to any third party claiming information, data and/or material disclosed by you as part of your application constitutes a violation of their IPRs, or their confidentiality/privacy rights. 

You retain full and exclusive ownership of your information and owned intellectual property rights.

All costs and expenses incurred by the applicant in preparing its application will be borne by the applicant. There will be no recourse for the recovering of these costs, regardless of the outcome of the evaluation. 

Please note that applications and supporting documents are to be submitted in English.

Please refer to the website’s privacy policy to learn how we will process personal data included in the application.

Applicants must inform us of any change to the application or the information thereof. We will decide how to handle such changes and inform you of our decision.

The terms and conditions of this call for proposals shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the state of Israel, without regard to its principles of conflict of laws.  Any dispute arising under these terms and conditions shall be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts in Tel Aviv, Israel.