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Awarded in Basel

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An Algerian researcher (native of BOU-ISMAIL) was awarded on 16/11/2017 in Basel, Switzerland by the Swiss International Innovation Forum.

An Algerian researcher was awarded on 16/11/2017 in Basel, Switzerland) by the Swiss International Innovation Forum as part of the Masschallenge incubator and accelerator. Dr Samir OUNZAIN (AOUNZA) born in Bou-Ismail is the winner of Masschallenge Switzerland 2017

My son, Dr. Samir OUNZAIN (AOUNZA) is the inventor of genetic therapy to curb cardiac fibrosis after myocardial infarction and improve the function of the heart. He is the founder of the start-up "Haya Therapeutics" which was a winer of a golden award on November 16, 2017 in Basel (Switzerland) at the international forum of innovations. Dr Samir OUNZAIN is Algerian, born in Bou-Ismail.

Attached is a video clip of the Awards Ceremony, an article from a Swiss newspaper and a scientific article on his invention.

Clip vidéo de la remise du prix au lauréat Dr Samir OUNZAIN (AOUNZA)

Seven start-ups awarded by MassChallenge (Journal Suisse, 17/11/2017)

There were 75 start-ups from several countries. Seven of them were awarded Thursday in Basel. Most of them are Swiss Romandes.
Seven start-ups were honored on Thursday evening in Basel for the final of the 2017 MassChallenge Switzerland Accelerator Program at the Swiss Innovation Forum. They were 75 at the start. For four months, they benefited from supervision in the UniverCité common workspace in Renens (VD).

"Of these 75 start-ups, half came from abroad, from the United States, India and Germany, but Swiss start-ups, mostly from the French-speaking part of the world, were very well positioned. They presented innovative and promising business models, "says Juliette Lemaignen, a partner at Inartis, a non-profit foundation that oversees, among other things, UniverCité's activities.

For this 2017 edition, Moka Studio and TasteHit got 100 000 francs each. The Valais start-up Moka Studio develops software to quickly and easily create three-dimensional animations. For its part, the Lausanne start-up TasteHit has designed a model based on artificial intelligence generating recommendations of products specifically tailored to the tastes and preferences of each visitor. Several e-commerce sites are already working with TasteHit, such as Lancel, Aigle or Gerard Darel.

Arrival of German BASF
Other projects welcomed by the jury are ChemAlive, a French-speaking company active in the field of chemical modeling.
The start-up HaYa, from the CHUV, wants to develop a drug candidate against cardiac fibrosis. The Vaudoise Lymphatica Medtech has designed a medical device incorporating a micropump for the treatment of lymphoedema, a chronic and disabling side effect related to cancer treatments.

Advances in the treatment of cardiac fibrosis (Publication Swiss Journal)

A study by Dr Samir OUNZAIN, researcher at the Experimental Cardiology Unit of the Heart-Vessel Department at the CHUV (Lausane, Switzerland), shows that a non-coding RNA molecule can be targeted to curb cardiac fibrosis after a heart attack myocardium and improve the function of the heart.
The study published on June 21, 2017 in the journal Science Translational Medicine highlights for the first time the importance of an RNA (ribonucleic acid) non-coding in the regulation of the activity of cardiac fibroblasts and the development of fibrosis .

Cardiovascular disorders, particularly coronary heart disease, are the leading cause of illness and death in developed countries. The human heart contains about 5 billion muscle cells. It is estimated that during an infarct about one billion of these cells, cardiomyocytes, die. These cardiomyocytes are never replaced. In contrast, a fibrous scar is produced by activated fibroblasts in the damaged heart. Although essential during the acute phase following infarction, cardiac fibrosis is very deleterious in the long term. Indeed, because this zone does not contract, it helps to maintain stress on the heart muscle still alive. In the end, the function is degraded and heart failure occurs. This condition is critical for the patient who is in a potentially fatal situation. Paradoxically, no treatment of heart diseases specifically targets fibroblasts.

"In this study, we do not target one of the 20,000 or so genes in the human genome that encode proteins, but instead look at the RNA produced by the non-coding genome. represents 98% of the genome produced in particular long non-coding RNAs that play fundamental roles in the regulation of cellular functions.Then targeting these non-coding RNAs, we can control the identity and behavior of the cells, "says Dr. Samir OUNZAIN .
The study therefore identified a non-coding RNA molecule that the authors called Wisper. This molecule controls the function of heart fibroblasts, particularly their ability to proliferate and produce cardiac fibrosis. When targeting Wisper in vivo in an animal model of myocardial infarction, fibrosis is greatly diminished, remodeling of the cardiac tissue is attenuated and the function of the heart is improved.

What makes Wisper a more attractive therapeutic target than the proteins traditionally targeted by the pharmaceutical industry? Beyond our ability to control the biology of fibroblasts, Wisper is found to be specifically produced by cardiac fibroblasts. This unique property allows to consider increased efficiency and treatment minimizing side effects. Indeed, if no other cell than the cardiac fibroblasts expresses Wisper, no other cell will be affected by the treatment. This particularity of the long non-coding RNA allows us to hope for the development of a whole new range of therapeutics, for many pathologies, as demonstrated today for heart diseases.


Here is the link of the article published by the Algerian electronic newspaper TSA:


I am very pleased to inform you that my son Dr. Samir OUNZAIN (AOUNZA) has been congratulated by the Embassy of Switzerland in Algeria (Algiers).
Here is the link:


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