DTU awards DKK 2 million in PoC grants

Tuesday 30 Jul 19


Michael Persson
Programme Manager, DTU Enable
Office for Innovation and Sector Services
+4560 54 40 31


Sine Reker Hadrup
Head of Sections, Professor
DTU Health Tech
+4535 88 62 90

Six exciting DTU projects with significant commercial potential have been awarded DTU’s Proof of Concept grant of up to DKK 500.000 in this year’s second application round. The funded projects include ImmPACT, Self-tracking, AnchorGrip, DroneEL, Fquant and Ergothioneine for human health.

DTU has awarded around DKK 2 million in Proof of Concept grants in this year’s second application round. Among the 6 exciting projects that were funded is ImmPACT from DTU Health Tech which will specifically target cancer cells through personalized strategies.

The next generation of immunotherapy
In recent years, immunotherapy has proven itself as the best approach to cancer therapy. However, current immunotherapy relies on a broad activation of the immune system or addresses targets that are present in both tumors and healthy cells. This causes immense side effects and many types of cancer still lack treatment.

The next generation of immunotherapy will specifically target cancer cells based on personalized strategies, which is expected to be more efficient and have significantly fewer side effects.

ImmPACT is an artificial antigen presenting cell (aAPC) scaffold that promotes precise expansion of cancer-specific T cells. This should ultimately increase cancer survival through higher tumor killing and enhance the patients’ life quality.

With ImmPACT, the patients’ own T cells are extracted and specifically activated towards the patients’ own antigens by use of the ImmPACT artificial antigen presenting cell. This creates a powerful T cell product that can be returned to the individual patient for tumor killing.

Preclinical data show that ImmPACT is 4-15 times stronger than conventional unspecific T cell expansion on each of the three best indicators for clinical effective tumor cell killing. ImmPACT’s initial development will be targeted towards melanoma, lung cancer or bladder cancer.

DTU’s PoC Grant will be used to commercially mature the project towards a spin out and cover several external services. It will lay the foundation for establishing the biotech company PokeACell. 

DTU Proof of Concept Grant

The PoC grant is a vital step in the start-up journey and to the future development and maturation of DTU technologies. The grant covers a period of maximum 12 months and is awarded three times a year.


If you have established the preliminary proof of concept of your project and your research has commercial potential, you can apply for the next round of POC Grants by September 30 2019.



DTU PoC Grant Recipients, June 2019

Sine Reker Hadrup from DTU Health Tech with the project ImmPACT

Jakob Eg Larsen from DTU Compute with the project Self-tracking

Torben Anker Lenau from DTU Mekanik with the project AnchorGrip

Irina Boridina from DTU Biosustain with the project Ergothioneine for human health

Peter Behrensdorff Poulsen from DTU Fotonik with the project DronEL

Jens Bæk Simonsen from DTU Health Tech with the project Fquant, a revolutionary calibrator technique for translating fluorescence intensity to absolute numbers of molecules