05 October 2020

More entrepreneurial spirit on the DESY campus

The start-up family on the DESY campus has a new addition: PixelBiotech, a spin-off of the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) in Heidelberg, has opened an additional office in Hamburg.

PixelBiotech is a biotech start-up that develops technologies and platforms for gene expression analysis, especially for cancer diagnostics and infectious diseases. To this end, the company has developed the industry's first true multiplex smFISH probe, a probe that detects nucleic acids – that is DNA or RNA – in tissue samples with single-molecular precision. PixelBiotech has also developed a data analysis platform based on Artificial Intelligence (AI). Together, these two inventions enhance genetic analyses by making them more accurate, cheaper, faster and thus more universally applicable. The company is also working on a device that will enable clinics and doctors to view the results of the analysis immediately via a short processing time. "Our mission," says Dr. Haisen Ta, Head of Imaging at PixelBiotech, "is to make gene analysis more accessible.”

PixelBiotech's choice of location shows the great advantages of the Helmholtz Association: This Helmholtz spin off settling on the campus of DESY (another Helmholtz center) allows PixelBiotech to use the existing research infrastructure. DESY offers the research infrastructure needed to further develop the technologies as well as an excellent research campus plus an active innovation ecosystem: Many other start-ups from the same and related sectors have already settled there and are already transferring knowledge and ideas.

In addition, the Hamburg area offers networking opportunities with other interesting biomedical research institutions such as the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE), the Heinrich-Pette-Institute for Experimental Virology (HPI), the Bernhard-Nocht-Institute for Tropical Medicine (BNITM), the Fraunhofer IME or the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL). To complement the prime research location, the region is home to a large number of industrial companies from the fields of pharmaceuticals, biotech and medical technology. PixelBiotech is also striving for networking in this area and is supported in this aspect by the DESY Start-up Office.


  • 2020/10/04

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  • innovation@desy.de