Find all previous Venture Challenge teams and discover the diversity within Life Sciences. Be inspired by the different start-ups and feel the potential from universities to private companies. In addition, read more about the winners from all Venture Challenges from 2008 up to now. Do you want to know more about the results, then read our 10 year anniversary newsletter.
SLAM Ortho has developed an automated, accurate and fast bore depth measurement system for bone fractures. This has multiple advantages such as: no time lost in (repeated) measurements, no extra x-rays needed, no wasted implants, no extra actions needed and a decreased risk of re-surgery for the patient. The patented technology has been tested on human bones in cadaveric specimens in which it outperformed the manual gauge.
PacingCure develops gene therapies for common cardiac arrhythmias and cardiomyopathies, using an innovative precision approach. Their medical products offer patients who suffer from severe morbidity and mortality superior treatment over established implantable and medicinal therapies, and a cure for patients who are currently untreatable. Their in-vivo validated gene therapies are injected directly into a small region of the heart using a simple, minimal-invasive procedure. Using non-dilutive funding, PacingCure has developed proprietary technologies to support a portfolio of products. PacingCure’s team builds on a longstanding track-record with highly experienced clinicians and scientists. With PacingCure’s unique platform and excellent team, it’s their vision to become a world leader in cardiac gene therapy.
BIMINI Biotech aims to deliver proprietary small molecule drug compounds that target the growth hormone receptor (GHR). Using their novel cell-based assays to assess GHR function they have identified and patented a lead compound for the treatment of triple negative breast cancer (TNBC), a growing disease segment with a huge clinical and market need. This compound has shown highly promising in vitro and in vivo efficacy and safety results for TNBC. BIMINI Biotech now aims to leverage this discovery by bringing the compound to the clinic. With a team consisting of a mix of young entrepreneurs, experienced business experts, and renowned scientific key-opinion-leaders they have a combined desire to increase the duration and quality of human life.
AmbAgon has developed small molecule screening technologies focused on discovering molecules that stabilize the direct interaction of oncogenic transcription factors with so-called 14-3-3 proteins, thereby inhibiting their pathological activities. This approach, to augment the endogenous tumor-suppressing functions of 14-3-3 within different breast cancer types with small molecule drugs, provides for a radically new entry. A method that has been long sought for by the pharmaceutical industry and which is urgently needed in the clinic.
SeraNovo’s proprietary formulation platform radically increases bioavailability and allows products to reach the market significantly quicker and at a lower cost. For every drug, SeraNovo creates a purposely designed eutectic mixture and couples it with polymers to create a formulation. When orally administered these formulations create a supersaturated state in the intestine resulting in a significantly higher bioavailability.
Hybridize has developed a cost-effective proprietary therapeutic compound that can be intravenously administered to protect the kidney from BK virus-mediated damage while maintaining full immunosuppression. Their novel drug diminishes the generation of infectious BKV by more than 80%, and will delay the need for expensive follow-up procedures, including re-transplantation and dialysis.
Each year hundreds of thousands of people die from cancer, mostly due to recurrent disease. To prevent recurrent cancer from becoming untreatable it should be detected as early as possible. Cyclomics aims to detect recurrent cancer as soon as it arises to improve survival of many cancer patients worldwide.
X-Heal Diagnostics has developed the X-halyzer technology, a patented diagnostic technology that allows specific detection of bacteria from exhaled air within one hour, directly enabling targeted treatment for patients with chronic lung diseases.
RadiQual Surgery has developed a worldwide unique product called Logi-Knife that enables surgeons to make use of high quality diagnostic imaging data for real-time 3D surgical navigation during their surgical procedures. Using Logi-Knife, surgeons are able to perform the perfect cut to cure cancer.
Mercurna is developing a first-in-class precision medicine for chronic kidney disease, based on the identification of a unique kidney-targeting peptide. The startup team has already shown in mice, that this peptide, derived from an endogenous protein, is able to encapsulate and deliver mRNA specifically into the cells of the glomerulus, thereby avoiding systemic (side-) effects.
New generation antibiotics to treat drug resistant infections. Synamp’s goal is the discovery and development of entirely new classes of antibiotics capable of selectively targeting and killing bacterial cells via novel modes of action. To do so Synamp applies a strategy aimed at identifying compounds capable of binding lipid II, the unique molecular building block of the bacterial cell wall. Importantly, lipid II has no known role in human metabolism but is essential to bacterial growth and survival.
Conquest nanoparticles enable the use of ultrasound for advanced imaging. The nanoparticles are of the right size to accumulate in abnormal tissue with “leaky” vessels. They provide excellent and stable contrast for ultrasound imaging, and can readily be modified to include contrast for other imaging modalities. These unique properties will bring ultrasound to the forefront of imaging in areas currently dominated by more expensive, more difficult and slower imaging modalities such as MRI and CT. This novel nanoparticle technology, providing unique multimodal imaging contrast, will create a revolution in diagnostic imaging.
Innofuse targets problems physicians experience on a daily base with drug administration to critically ill and preterm infants. Existing infusion sets inherently induce significant dosage fluctuations and long delays before drugs reach the patient. Innofuse provides a patented solution: an infusion set that guarantees stability and immediacy of drug administration.
Molecular diagnostics start-up KimerDx is the winner of the Venture Challenge Fall 2013, which includes €25,000 prize money. KimerDx develops advanced technologies that allow early detection of rejection or disease relapse in transplant patients.
The winner of the Venture Challenge Spring 2013 and the €25,000 prize money is Omics2Image, they have created the IonPix camera that makes ‘molecular photo’s’ and detects 262,000 mass spectra simultaneously.
The winner of the Venture Challenge Fall 2012 and the €25,000 prize money is Nano-I-Drops, which has developed a drug carrier for eye drops based on DNA nanoparticles.
The start-up company MICure was named the winner of the Venture Challenge Spring 2012 and took home 25,000 euro to further develop their venture. MICure is developing an effective treatment for melanoma, the most deadly form of cancer.
The Autumn 2011 edition of the Venture Challenge took a surprising turn when two winners were announced yesterday during the Dutch Life Sciences & Health conference in Media Plaza, Utrecht. Life sciences ventures Muscabiotics and Prognostix will split the €25,000 prize money. Muscabiotics focuses on the treatment and prevention of infectious diseases in livestock. Prognostix develops innovative diagnostic tests for prostate cancer.
During the LifeSciences@work Event in Utrecht, start-up company PhenoVation was named the winner of the Venture Challenge Spring 2011. Using PhenoVation’s innovative CropReporter, the yield and quality of crops can be enhanced by specifically tuning the climate settings in greenhouses to reflect real-time information on crop performance. PhenoVation is a spin-out from the Wageningen UR Greenhouse Horticulture research institute at Wageningen University and Research Centre.
Start-up company NightBalance is the winner of the Venture Challenge Fall 2010, as announced during the Dutch Life Sciences & Health conference in Amsterdam on 8 December 2010. Intelligent sensor for healthy sleeping grasps €25,000 prize money.
New detection method for pathogenic worms clinches €25,000 prize money. ClearDetections, a spin-off from Wageningen University and BLGG AgroXpertus (The Netherlands) has developed a new method to efficiently detect nematodes – minute worms in the soil that cause approximately $80 billion damage annually to agricultural crops worldwide. “ClearDetections convinced us with the clarity of their plan, which addresses a real need in the market. Moreover, they offer a validated solution”, said Alie Tigchelhoff, president of the Venture Challenge jury. “Combined with the quality of the team, ClearDetections delivered the best performance all around.”
Yet to be formally established, Pluriomics intends to develop and commercialise predictive human cardiotoxicity screening platforms, based on human stem cell technology. This spin-off company will be housed at the Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC). Key reasons for the jury to select Pluriomics as winner of the NGI Venture Challenge Fall 2009 are that Pluriomics addresses a clear market need with a unique solution, is building strong strategic technological and market alliances, and has a solid team, including an experienced CEO.
Farmascreen develops biochips for high-throughput toxicity screening. FarmaScreen is an early stage research enterprise that will soon be spin-off from Leiden University. The company will offer a prototype of a patent-pending biochip that can be used as a safety screen in the drug pipeline. It allows automated screening of compounds on zebrafish embryos at medium- to high-throughput. It produces large quantities of high-quality data that can reliably predict a compound’s toxicity, at a fraction of the cost of mouse and rat screenings. The commercial potential of the biochip is high.
The first winner of the Venture Challenge was FluxTrax. FluxTrax develops software that determines the local metabolism of living cells using a single tissue sample. Practical applications include determining the extent of damage after a heart attack. This technology launched by FluxTrax provides pharmaceutical companies with a better and faster means of selecting new candidate medicines. FluxTrax is a spin-off in establishment of the Netherlands Bioinformatics Centre (NBIC).