Ynno Med Limited, a PolyU start-up founded by Dr Ma Cong, Associate Professor of the Department of Applied Biology and Chemical Technology, has been honoured as one of the winners of the Falling Walls Science Breakthroughs of the Year 2023 under the category of Science Start-ups (Falling Walls Venture) for its development of new antibiotic drug candidates.


The PolyU spin-off company is among 25 global winners of the Falling Walls Science Start-ups award. Ynno Med focuses on the discovery and development of first-in-class antimicrobial drugs using in-house developed AI-assisted technology, striving to combat the ever-present challenge of antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections. By utilising AI drug design methods, Dr Ma and his research team developed new antibiotic drug candidates that are capable of eradicating multidrug-resistant bacteria and suppressing the generation of new resistance.


Dr Ma said, “Being the only winner from Hong Kong for this Science Start-ups award, we consider this to be an encouragement and recognition of Hong Kong’s prowess on the international stage. Through this opportunity, we aim to demonstrate our dedication to knowledge transfer and make impactful contributions to society.”


Dr Ma’s research work focuses on drug design and discovery. New antibiotic drug candidates are under preclinical development in Ynno Med, with plans to proceed to clinical trials in the future.


On 7 November 2023, at the Falling Walls Science Summit in Berlin, Dr Ma and his team will present their projects for the main title of Science Breakthrough of the Year 2023 in the Science Start-ups category.


The Falling Walls Awards aim to foster research and innovation across all disciplines by celebrating cutting-edge discoveries. The Falling Walls Foundation, based in Berlin, established the awards to acknowledge the most recent breakthroughs in science and society worldwide.