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Two young entrepreneurs receives a grant from the Novo Nordisk Foundation

Adam S. Hansen (on the right) and Andreas M. Hejslet (to the left) from AW Technologies has with their project, TrachFlush, been approved for the program Business Acceleration Academy by the Novo Nordisk Foundation's newest initiative that helps Life Science entrepreneurs accelerate their business; BioInnovation Institute

In a small office in Aalborg are Adam S. Hansen, 20, and Andreas M. Hejslet, 19, sitting and working with their company. They are newly graduates from HHX (college) and could as many other new graduates be on their way to University. But this is not the agenda for Adam and Andreas. The two young entrepreneurs have for several years worked together in different project within the MedTech field and has with their latest project and company, AW Technologies, been, as one of the 7 companies, approved for the exclusive program by BioInnovation Institute; Business Acceleration Academy. Adam and Andreas are the only ones from Northern Jutland, and are as well the youngest to ever to take part in the program so far.

Optimising the current procedure

Healthy people can by themselves remove secretion from their airway, to prevent lung infections, by coughing it up. When a patient is being ventilated, an intubation tube (an endotracheal tube) is inserted in the airway (trachea) so the ventilator can support the patient with air. When the intubation tube has been inserted, the cuff (balloon) on the outer-side of the tube is inflated, keeping the tube steady. The balloon serves several purposes i.e. allowing air from the ventilator into the lungs, blocking outside-air and other liquids from entering the lungs. However, the balloon prevents the patient from removing the secretion themselve and therefore the secretion has to manually be removed by the nurse.

Today, ventilated patients has their airway cleaned by a suctioning catheter, which can be compared to a vacuum cleaner, to remove the secretion from the airway. This procedure is very uncomfortable for the patient, requires a lot of time for the nurse, is costly for the hospitals and is very inefficient and cannot remove all the secretion. Despite the many daily suctioning's, about 27% of all ventilated patients gets infected with pneumonia.

AW Technologies' concept, TrachFlush, can replace the current suctioning procedure with an artificial cough, that removes the secretion from the airway as a healthy person would.

The TrachFlush-procedure utilizes the pressure from the ventilator after which TrachFlush deflates the balloon of the intubation tube. Now there are a free passage in the airway of the patient, and the pressure then pushes all of the secretion from the trachea up to the throat. After 1sec. TrachFlush has inflated the ballon and the artificial cough has been performed and the secretion has been removed.

Adam and Andreas has been approved with their company, AW Technologies, to the program by the Novo Nordisk Foundation; Business Acceleration Academy, which are one out of three programs offered by the foundations newest initiative BioInnovation Institute. The Institute has in its first three years since start granted DKK 392M, and now the two young entrepreneurs has been granted DKK 600K as part of the Business Acceleration Program which covers a cash grant and the academy itself.

11 weeks in Copenhagen

In a period of 11 weeks the two young entrepreneurs will be living in Copenhagen to participate in the program. In the whole period, Adam and Andreas will be working the BioInnovation Institutes headquarter in "Medicon Valley", Copenhagen. In the 11 intense weeks, Adam and Andreas will with the BioInnovation Institute team be support in defining need in categories such as customers, IP-rights, business model, marketing and financing. At the end of the program the two entrepreneurs will with their company be even closer to commercialising their product, TrachFlush, and as a round-up they will pitch their business case at "DEMO-day" hosted by BioInnovation Institue. At the beginning of September, Adam and Andreas flew to Copenhagen to attend the program, and we wish the best of luck to the two young entrepreneurs, and a huge congratulations.

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AW Technologies