Alfasigma, Utopia SIS, Istituto David Chiossone e Club2021 (famiglia Taini) entrano nella start-up Novavido

The 6 million euro round is underway with two tranches of capital increase of the start-up already accelerated by G-Factor of the Golinelli Foundation and developed thanks to the scientific research of IIT and the Don Calabria Hospital in Negrar.

The project focuses on the use of polymeric retinal prostheses and aims to treat retinal degeneration.

22 June 2021 – Alfasigma, Utopia SIS, Istituto David Chiossone and Club2021 launch the 6 million euro round, divided into two tranches, in the Novavido start-up, through a capital increase necessary to promote the industrial development of the product and the consequent entry into the market. The first round of investment will be of 1.4 million euros, while the subsequent one, of approximately 4.5 million, will arrive at the end of 24 months, and will be linked to the success and implementation of the research plan and growth steps . Novavido s.r.l., a recently established start-up accelerated by G-Factor of the Golinelli Foundation, was born from a research project developed over the course of 10 years by the Italian Institute of Technology (IIT) with the collaboration of the IRCCS Sacro Cuore Don Calabria Hospital of Negrar (Verona) and the technological skills of Alfasigma.

The project concerns the development of an injectable and biocompatible device, defined as “liquid retina”, which is based on the use of polymeric retinal prostheses aimed at at least partial recovery of vision. A new therapeutic proposal, potentially revolutionary for retinal degeneration induced by diseases such as retinitis pigmentosa and macular degeneration.

The idea was born from the work of two research centers of the Italian Institute of Technology, the Center for Nano Science and Technology of Milan (CNST-IIT) and the Center for Synaptic Neuroscience and Technology of Genoa (NSYN-IIT), which have translated organic technology for solar energy production to the field of biostimulation.

The project is supported by encouraging experimental results obtained during preclinical tests and published in 2020 in the prestigious international scientific journal Nature Nanotechnology.

The aim of the start-up is to further develop the product, test it on humans and finally market it. The Novavido operational team is made up of Giovanni Manfredi (CEO) and Sara Perotto, expert researchers in nanomaterials, and three scientific advisors, Fabio Benfenati, director of the Center for Synaptic Neuroscience and Technology of the IIT of Genoa, Guglielmo Lanzani, who directs the Center for Nano Science and Technology of the IIT of Milan and Grazia Pertile, head of ophthalmology at the IRCCS Sacro Cuore Don Calabria Hospital in Negrar.

The team will benefit from the collaboration of experts from the Alfasigma laboratories coordinated by Emilio Merlo Pich, director of Alfasigma Research and Development. «The birth of Novavido is an emblematic case of how research pursues the aim of improving the quality of people’s lives, moving closer to the social sustainability objectives that an increasingly inclusive society must aim for.

The technologies developed in our laboratories have reached a level of maturity which, combined with the skills and work of our team for technology transfer, have made it possible to attract very important private funding” comments Giorgio Metta Scientific Director of IIT “The Institute thus demonstrates fully realize its dual mission: carry out high-level research activities of international relevance and transfer the fruits of scientific activity to the market, concretely impacting the social fabric of our country by promoting its economic development” concludes Metta.

«We are very satisfied to have concluded this operation and honored by the trust that the partners have placed in our project which aims to transfer the artificial retina to humans.

The interest aroused and the caliber of the subjects involved represent a strong push to transform Novavido S.r.l. in a successful reality. This initiative is an example of all-Italian synergy between actors from different realities working for a common purpose. It is the result of collaboration between public research, industrial research, the healthcare system, representatives of the business and financial world and patient associations.

We hope that the close collaboration between the many parties involved will lead to concrete results in a short time” say the founders of the Novavido start-up. «Alfasigma’s investment in Novavido represents a concrete signal of confidence in the innovative technology and for the start-up team, accelerated by G-Factor.

Alfasigma is proud to contribute to the development of the project” comments engineer Stefano Golinelli, president of Alfasigma Spa. “Utopia starts with its first investment, aware of its role as a financial investor with smart money, i.e. qualified and specialized finance necessary for growth of such challenging and disruptive research projects.

Doing this with a team of excellence and with co-investors of such high standing is a pride” declares Antonio Falcone, Executive Vice President of Utopia SIS. «It is an important commitment and a great satisfaction for the Chiossone Institute to participate in the establishment of Novavido s.r