Venture Challenge Winner Hybridize Enters Agreement for a Direct-acting RNA-based Therapy Against BK Virus

While peering through a microscope at a kidney tissue section, Eric van der Veer was introduced to BK virus. This virus resides in most of our kidneys, but in most of us fortunately will cause no harm. But for kidney transplantation patients, immunosuppressive medication can lead to BK virus activation, with risk of destroying the kidney. 

While developing this much-needed therapy for kidney transplantation patients, Eric split his days between science and business development at the Leiden Regenerative Medicine Platform under the watchful eye of Paul Bilars and Benjamin Sieters. During this time, Professor van Zonneveld, Jurrien Prins and him participated in the Health-Holland Venture Challenge, with their fictional biotech named Hybridize. They won the ‘most promising biotech’ prize based on the quality of their product, business plan and pitch. A year later, Hybridize Therapeutics was born.

Today, with great pride, Hybridize has entered into an exciting partnership with Aicuris, a German anti-infectives pharmaceutical company, to bring their BK virus-targeting antisense oligonucleotide to kidney transplantation patients. They have entered into a worldwide licensing agreement of up to €100M for Hybridize’s BK virus (BKV) programme. The licensed programme is based on a novel RNA-based therapeutic approach developed by Hybridize.

More information of this partnership can be found here.


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