FETCH wins Venture Challenge Spring 2024!

The winner of the Venture Challenge was announced today at the Dutch Biotech Event. The proud winner of the 2024 spring edition is FETCH! The innovative startup has developed a groundbreaking approach for precision diagnostics in personalized medicine for metastatic cancer patients through tumor cell analysis from a large blood volume. This method can provide the crucial information needed to select the best targeted therapies, overcoming the limitations of traditional biopsies and current liquid biopsy methods.

According to the jury, comprised of Carine van den Brink, Geert-Jan Mulder, Sterre Witteveen, Saman Honarnejad and Jeroen de Groot, choosing a winner was difficult. The participating teams did very well during pitching, and all had their own specific opportunities and challenges.

The jury finds that FETCH is addressing a critical need as they obtain detailed tumor information in metastatic cancer for patients who have developed resistance to therapy. For prostate cancer only, there are 53-thousand patients per year (EU and US) who have become resistant to hormone therapy and will receive a second line of treatment.

Tumor information is essential for selecting the most effective targeted treatments and thus improving patient outcomes. Traditional biopsies can be a burden for the patient, while current liquid biopsy methods, such as ctDNA do not provide protein expression details. Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) contain the needed information but are extremely rare. As a result, in a standard blood tube, often no CTCs are found. To address this, FETCH's innovative approach enables the comprehensive detection and characterization of CTCs from a patient’s entire blood volume, providing vital metastatic target information. The jury thinks the team has a clear value proposition on which they can expand in the future.

FETCH is initially focusing on metastatic prostate cancer and planning to broaden their application to other types of metastatic cancers. Their advanced immunomagnetic enrichment technique for circulating tumor cells (CTCs) from leukapheresis material is designed to be adaptable and scalable, which means it can potentially be applied to a wide range of cancers where current biopsy methods are impractical or insufficient. They are also looking to integrate their service into research programs. By doing so, FETCH is poised to contribute significantly to the field of personalized cancer treatment, offering a valuable tool for real-time tumor monitoring and targeted therapy selection.

“The Venture Challenge helped us to get clarity on the core of our unique value and potential. This will allow us to focus on our strengths, but also address the potential pitfalls we identified during the program. With this, we can take the next step in revolutionizing oncologic care.”

- Michiel Stevens, founder of FETCH

The Venture Challenge Spring started in May and today at the Dutch Biotech Event. FETCH takes home the €25.000 prize money to invest in their growth. Contact Michiel Stevens for more information about FETCH.

The other highly-motivated participating teams were: MaTiRex, Myonovum, QTM Biosciences, THRONCAT and Twente Medical OpticsParticipating in the Venture Challenge leads to a clear venture plan, as well as to investor-ready pitches.

Want to participate in the next venture challenge? Click here for more information.
The call for the Venture Challenge Fall closes 2 July, 14:00 CEST, 2024!
Apply now through NWO:

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FETCH wins Venture Challenge Spring 2024!

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