Catalyst Awards 2024: the 17 most exciting life science start-ups and scale-ups to watch this year



    Qualio is fortunate to operate in an industry that constantly amazes, innovates and evolves.

    As a life science eQMS provider, we're constantly keeping our finger on the pulse in the worlds of medical device, pharmaceutical and clinical work.

    The emerging companies we encounter and hear of on the grapevine are working hard doing incredible things to extend, improve and save lives.

    So we had an idea. Why not share these companies with our thousands of blog readers - and give them an award while we're at it?

    We've listed the top 17 life science start-ups and scale-ups that most impressed us, and that you should keep an eye on this year.

    Here are our Catalyst Award 2024 winners!


    1. EpiBone

    Growing bones isn't just a dog's dream. It's a new reality that could reinvent reconstructive surgery.

    Originating from Columbia University, New York-based EpiBone is pioneering the field of bone regeneration using stem cells. Their technology allows for the growth of bones that are a perfect match for the patient, using a 3D scan to 'scaffold' a bespoke bone structure that's then grown in a bioreactor and grafted into the patient.

    Their lab-grown knee cartilage went to clinical trials last year, with patient recruitment starting imminently. Watch this space!


    2. Nano X Imaging

    Nanox plans to overhaul the medical imaging industry with its new tomosynthesis X-ray device, the Nanox.ARC, which aims to increase the accuracy, accessibility and affordability of medical imaging worldwide.


    3. Innovative Biochips

    Emerging from the Houston Texas Medical Center, the largest medical complex on the planet, Innovative Biochips is focused on creating miniature lab-on-a-chip (LOC) technologies that could revolutionize how biological assays are performed, significantly speeding up diagnostics and research.


    4. Neuroelectrics

    This Barcelona-based company, Neuroelectrics, which has ties to MIT and Harvard as well as a Boston office, is a leader in non-invasive electrical stimulation devices for the brain, targeting conditions such as epilepsy and depression. Their innovative approach to neuromodulation could transform the treatment of neurological disorders or, as they put it, 'revolutionize brain therapy'.


    5. HeartFlow

    California-based HeartFlow has developed a non-invasive CT scan analysis software that creates a personalized 3D model of the heart to help doctors diagnose and treat heart disease.


    6. Quantum Surgical

    Tumor-fighting robots, anyone?

    The French company Quantum Surgical is at the forefront of minimally invasive cancer treatments, using its Epione® robotic-assisted devices to make oncology torso surgeries safer and more precise.



    AI's everywhere nowadays, and it's snuck into our 2024 list too.

    With connections to academic institutions for its foundational AI technology, has pioneered the use of artificial intelligence to detect and analyze diseases from medical images, even from patients' faces.

    Its vascular, neuro, cardio, radiology and trauma 'suites' even coordinate follow-up care to ensure patients get targeted, appropriate treatments quickly.


    8. CRISPR Therapeutics

    You might've heard of CRISPR, or 'clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats', before.

    CRISPR technology unlocks the tantalizing possibilities of DNA gene editing.

    And CRISPR Therapeutics, co-founded in 2013 by Nobel Prize winner Emmanuelle Charpentier,  has taken the name to heart, focusing on developing transformative gene-based medicines using its proprietary CRISPR/Cas9 gene-editing platform.

    2023 saw the first CRISPR therapy approvals in Bahrain, the UK and the US.

    And with initial treatments tackling sickle cell disease and transfusion-dependent beta thalassemia, CRISPR seems to be only just beginning.


    9. GRAIL

    We're slowly getting to grips with the problem of cancer, and companies like GRAIL are on the frontlines.

    The company's blood-based Galleri tests use advanced sequencing technology to detect cancer at its earliest stages, when treatment is most effective. GRAIL claims to detect biomarker signals from over 50 types of cancer with a 99.5% specificity rate.


    10. CARB-X

    While not a traditional start-up, CARB-X (Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Biopharmaceutical Accelerator) is a global non-profit partnership supported by a string of national governments and foundations. They fund innovative research and development for new antibiotics and other therapeutics to combat drug-resistant bacteria.


    11. Synthego

    Synthego is a leading provider of synthetic RNA products for genome engineering. The company's joined the CRISPR revolution to build INDe sgRNA kits that enable researchers to edit genes with high precision.

    But that's not all. Synthego's holistic platform integrates hardware and software technologies, including machine learning, to lift CRISPR technology to new limits, making mass gene therapies at scale a real possibility for the first time.

    We have a soft spot for Synthego - they're one of our customers! Hear Quality & Regulatory Lead Becki talk about us here.


    12. SonoThera

    Gene therapy's the next hot thing in therapeutics - so SonoThera's innovative approach to the treatment makes it #12 in our Catalyst winners list.

    We're talking about bubbles. Filled with therapeutic genes. Injected into the body, then guided to the target site with ultrasound.


    The company only launched just over a year ago, but already has two microbubble products in the works and ready to start.


    13. Georgiamune

    What if, instead of relying on invasive devices and drugs to treat disease, your own immune system could be upgraded to do it for you?

    That's the goal of Georgiamune, a Maryland-based start-up who are working to reprogram immune signaling pathways. By nudging the immune system in the right direction and arming it, patients' bodies could eventually counter cancer and autoimmune diseases themselves.

    We like the sound of that.


    14. MMI

    Medical Microinstruments, or MMI, is an Italian medical device start-up that tackles the problem of operating on the tiny areas of the human body where margin for error is practically nil.

    Microsurgery just got a lot easier for hardworking surgeons. MMI's NanoWrist instruments prevent natural hand tremors and guide surgeons through critical, minute operations on areas like nerves and blood vessels.

    MMI secured CE marking for EU operation last year, and could go stateside in the near future.


    15. Addimmune

    A couple of years ago, we interviewed Jeff Galvin, CEO of American Gene Technologies, on our From Lab To Launch podcast.

    The discussion was fascinating, and Jeff's passion to stamp out the scourge of HIV, among other diseases, shone through. Since then, American Gene Technologies has spun up a separate dedicated division, Addimmune, to tackle the HIV problem with gene therapy.

    Addimmune's AGT103-T cell modification technology has already gone through Phase 1a clinical trials, yielding encouraging results.

    We expect more good news from Addimmune in the coming months!


    16. Telenostic

    Parasitic infestations continue to bring disease, death and misery to humans and animals alike.

    Qualio customer Telenostic's goal is to lift parasitology to the next level, with its OvaCyte technology providing automated point-of-care AI analysis for parasitic identification and treatment.


    17. Neolook Solutions

    This Qualio customer, Neolook Solutions, scooped the Computable Awards 2023 in their native Netherlands, thanks to their EarlyMoves platform.

    EarlyMoves analyzes the movement of newborns and infants, leveraging AI analysis to detect disorders and facilitate timely treatments while neuroplasticity is at its highest.

    EarlyMoves has the potential to drive motor and cognitive improvements for babies for the rest of their lives, giving them a much-deserved spot among our Catalyst winners.